You climb the mountain,

slow step after conscious step,

and see before you stones, sharp underfoot,

angular in the strong sun..

Sweat beads and drips and

it’s a recognizable salty pleasure but


water is good.

Sparse trees


by the wind-

forbs wiggle in it,

hair every which way from it.

Steadily on, you walk,

glad for movement.

The peak looms large, but your tongue

and mind taste it.

Finally there- moments from the top- 

and breathing deepens, eases, you


Reaching the rocky lip,

not caring your laces drag behind,

you hook thumb under strap 

of your heavy pack,

welcoming a stretch of rest..


you glimpse 

what didn’t seem likely- not now,

not here,

not this,

but another peak in a range the map said

was done-

Oh unexplained territory,

unforetold valley and mountain ahead..

Silly map.

No one can ever anticipate

what lies ahead

for only you.