Over the hill, perhaps, though not long in the tooth.
The hill’s steep. On the ascent you encounter
ice falls, overhangs, precipices and chimneys,
interspersed with long, sloping meadows, thick wooded
rises with warm, safe shelters with hot fires, soft bunks.
Air’s fresher up on a hill – clearer; providing
moments of crystal clarity, waking senses –
opening the sinuses, powering the lungs.
You can see for miles, the views are spectacular,
and you can look down, see how steep the climb, how far.
Climbing strains the muscles, tests lungs, puts you through paces;
raw throat, aching limbs, you reach a crest – take a pause.
In that moment, there’s a gap. Amidst and between
the fighting, the surging, the slogging on. That’s real.
That’s life. There, in the gap. The climb is our greatest
distraction; life’s there, you only need to notice.