“The mountains are so dominant
that some days the people refuse
to look at them as children
turn away from the fathers who beat them”
~ Jim Harrison from Songs of Unreason
She was the mountaintop on which I stood
Breathing the pure air, cutting my teeth
on slender fingers for she would give
everything to protect, to shelter, to feed.
Fearless, she stepped into the path,
never allowing us to feel his wrath,
with her slight body blocking the way
as we cowered behind and wept
she refused to bow or ever retreat.
But even high mountains crumble into dust
and with a last breathless sigh, she gave up
from time to time, in memories I revel
yearning to smell her sweetest air
but I find myself with utter despair
now living and breathing at sea level.