To the Foot of a Hiking Trail
We came to the foot of a hiking trail.
We climbed the short road together
And stopped at the hiking trail,
Where it began its steep incline.
And he had climbed this trail before
Yet could no longer endure the terrain.
And I was distant, pondering the hiking trail
Wanting to climb but halted by muscles untrained
Halted there, drawing over and over in mind,
Mulling over and over to find the cloudy tree line.
Intently fixed, my eye tried measuring the distance
By some precedent in mind
Yet, could not find any relative relation
When eye traveled clear to the summit’s misty height,
Where it began its steep and overarching decline,
And ventured over the other mountainside,
Into valleys clad not in morning light,
But in darkness and eventually to dust.
And as I, in light of his gray, pondered
Our short road and too the rocky way
Winding rather circuitously, I heard
A mountain whose ravines, canyon deeps,
Caves and cliffs, many a precipice,
And picturesque flower field scenes
Whisper an allegory to me, of life and
Of what love is meant to be
Upon the story of its traveling breeze.
Suddenly, he stood miles apart from me.
I heard echoes from canyon deeps
Of his beauteous whistling,
To a song of love in the wind
I wanted never to end and adored sounds of our harmony
Just knowing he would hear my heart’s calling
But refusing to see this was music imaginary.
For this mountain man would always be a legend
Faraway, beyond retracing steps,
Beyond light of morning.
In weeping, I turned to him speaking:
I do not know the treachery of the slope, my love,
Though I have read many a travel guide.
I do not know the gust of the storm, my love,
Though I think I’ve seen where lightening strikes.
I cannot travel alongside by you, sadly,
Though, if it could be, I would be steadfast like embodied shadow,
And wherever you would go, throw light upon our love,
And you would witness, through the years, my devotion grow.
But I cannot be the woman of your dreams and
You will have to carry on without me.
For I am still tying shoelaces, still supplying my canteen vases,
Preparing matchboxes for fire when night falls in remote places
That I too, for a time, will have to face alone because no one else
Sings harmony with me so beautifully – company, my heart must postpone.
Oh, how my tears seek to wash the foot of the hiking trail
And seek to thank the wiser one seated on high for the mountain’s tale
And seek his forgiveness for my folly in believing that I,
And one, beginning to travel into the other side faraway, could
Negate natural order, could nullify time’s borders
And cross the divide.
© 2014. Asha Gowan. All Rights Reserved.