Our breath, tearing from our throats with mountainous effort,
by Jack Turner
Our thighs, straining with the weight
Of the sweat that mars our backs, cotton clinging
Like a drowning lover.
Hand in hand we fight against the mountain,
The foreign air that mocks our northern lungs,
The night time heat that burns our pale skin.
If I should slip – stumble on the jagged rocks –
You too would fall.
We carry on, if only for each other
Heaving and tumbling.
The path unwinds before us, foot by foot and
Inch by inch we drag each other on.
And the deathly silence of the summit when we’re done
Is merely peace
(And breathlessness) .
And here’s a thing we’ve done; climbed a mountain in the darkness
With no compass but the guide of faith
That precious, human trust.
And when we’ve conquered all the mountains in the world
Where do we go from there?
We reach the base again, together
And say goodbye.