The Climber

By Geoffrey Dobbs

For Anne

Slight, the fingers’ slip,

but enough.

Brief the fall from light to dark,

a fledgling’s flight, no more.

But enough.

Sparse and few the rocks below,

but enough.

Enough to crack and craze the skull

to untether the ballooning brain

from nerves left sparking madly through

a quivering, rag-doll thing.

Hope flickered once

before the anguish in a darkened room.

Dawn brought termination.

After, grief set the broken lives

in its clumsy, rugged way,

and your body rests now,

beneath a homely sky.

But I cannot think of you there,

asleep, in the ever circling earth.

I see you on the rock face still:

pinioned in the sun’s white flash,

enfolded in the great winds,

and washed by bright rains;

climbing on, towards the blue.

(Image by Josh Withers on Unsplash)​