--for Linda, anniversary 2017
This was our long path, my love,
and these the evidences of our climb:
these worn treads and missing lugs,
these frayed and mismatched laces,
these abraded gaping tears
along the lowers of our boots.
The granite talus tore our insteps,
chipped away the outsoles,
peeled the heel counters free to flap,
and rolled the toe rands raw.
See the mud still caked in the seams,
the rags of tundra in the stitching?
These are the wounds that came
by wedging feet among the boulders
high above the alpine slopes.
We promised at these heights
to see what we came looking for,
the moss campion, arctic lupine,
gentian, and mountain maven.
We have come here now and so
bear witness to these fragile denizens
resurrected to perdurable beauty.
Who could know that there would be
for us a love like this, hiding high,
waiting on our wounded feet
to bear it down in season?