for Bob and Therese
The rain lasted all morning,
ending in a mist, its silence
more complete than the rocks.
We start the climb after
the clouds break, leaving a blue
that defines the very edge of things.
Half-way to the summit, we stop,
drink clear water with cupped hands,
our mouths touching the stream.
For the Lakota tribe,
this barren place of black trees
was the center of the world.
At the top, we finger its scars:
graffiti, broken glass. The abandoned
air and dark pines breathe through us.
Below, the world is invisible.
Our children, all those we have named,
impossible to know from this height.
As we descend, the mist returns
to claim us. How it knows our voices,
our very shapes. So little have we changed.