Shenandoah

the higher you climb
the more the summit
seems to recede
like an unobtainable dream
in the end you’re scrambling
over bare rock
at times skirting a granite wall
on a narrow ledge
searching for handholds
at others hoisting your large frame
over smooth boulders
and squeezing between them
until finally you stand on
a small plot of level ground
and the view opens up
like a feast spread at your feet
the clear ribbon of the river
the toy houses and barns
the interstice of small roads
winding through
the green and golden fields
and you carefully store
the details in your mind
saving them up for
the cold spare days of winter
which you know lie ahead
(Originally published in Misty Mountain Review)

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