Pine needles cover the ground,
Life chirps and peeps from cracks in the Earth.
These mountains rise high,
Lizards and bugs infest the leaning trees,
The elder branches of the oak,
Wave their spidery fingers at the sky
As if waiting for an answer to a prayer.
Paths twirl and unfold like ribbons,
Tracing the past generations’ steps to the peak.
Clouds encircle the summit as if dancing.
Markers are set to tell you that many people
Have been here to rise above.
Trees make a thin blanket against the buffeting winds
That scour everything
And withdraw suddenly.
An old house at the back of the mountain
Gives you a personal secret
You keep to yourself.
Your ancestors scaled it.
You want to follow their invisible ghosts up to the top
And see the valley spread out like a patchwork quilt,
And a feeling of big/small makes you want
To become part of the mountain yourself,
To become one with the wind and trees and birds
And stories that the locals tell.
You want them to surround you
And enclose you.
The footprints that have faded leave their story,
The birds have an article that they will share,
The trees have old legends
Of kings and queens and knights,
The ground has an account
Of the gossip passed by the people of the mountain.
You want to call this home.