/   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
November/December 2006

By Emily Riippa

Pure, dazzling white
Miles of ice
blend with
miles of snow and
snow-covered rock
which can be deadly if you
don’t know where to look

A solitary climber
his way up this mountain
stopping only now
and then
to adjust his tinted
snow goggles
This high up
he almost feels ill
overwhelmed by the sheer
altitude of this mountain
which he has come to love
in a way
as his own
the altitude of his mountain
can do this to people — make them feel
so ill that they never make it up
to the summit
but he will
he vows this to

Each step is a mountain
in itself
the snow is quicksand
it wants to drag him
down with every step
he takes
but he fights back
and wins this
thinking only
of the summit
the very top
oh the view from the summit
nothing else is on his mind
not even the ever-diminishing
of his steps

He sees the snow is
ending—could it be
the summit is only
fifty yards away?
He quickens his pace
His struggles are pushed like
mere toys
to the back of his mind
with one last step
a step taken more by
determination and resolve
than by the energy of his
body and his feet

He reaches the summit
and looks down

Mountain Emily Riippa

Emily Riippa,13
Grand Rapids, Michigan

About the Author

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