False Summit #hiking #travel #poem #poetry #outdoors #summer #nature

The valley’s in darknesstrail sign by Kate Rauner
Where lingering mist
Follows the river
Through each shaded twist.
The chill at a sunrise
In damp morning air
Just raises excitement
In each prickling hair.
The mountain above me
Is pink in the dawn
And it will be mine
Before day is gone.
A path through the trees
Is clear to my eyes,
Feel my muscles
Warm as I climb.
Sharp scent of the trees,
The hum in the air,
Songs from the birds
Follow me where,
Still below tree line,
I set my own rate.
Here comes the hard slog,
I make my own fate.
A pack’s on my back
But I’m traveling light.
Nothing will slow
My march to the heights.
My throat turns to dust,
So I drink as I move,
Snack from my pockets,
There’s no time to lose.
The path becomes narrow,
The trees become thin.
They lean down the mountain
Away from the wind.
A patch of bright lichen
Enlivens the trail,
Crystals in rock,
A bevy of quail,
The chirp of a pica
A hawk overhead,
They don’t impede,
They drive me instead.
I’ll carry the ache
Till I reach the top,
Place boot before boot,
I never will stop.
Trudging gets harder,
Muscles complain,
Rocks slip underfoot,
Unforgiving terrain.
Breath becomes ragged,
I push through the pain,
Embrace the discomfort,
The sweat and the strain.
Now I approach it,
The peak I discern,
My goal’s within reach,
All that I’ve earned.
A last tired scramble,
A scrape to the knee,
Heave over the ridge
And what do I see?
Mountains on mountains
Reach higher than high,
March to the horizon,
Scraping the sky.
I’m worn and I’m footsore,
But barely begun.
The mountains are endless.
I’ll never be done.
Seen from my poor perch
The outlook is vast.
In long evening shadows
I laugh and I laugh.

By Kate Rauner
Inspired by hiking in the Rockies. And by living life.

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