The Innisfree Poetry Journal
by Roger Mitchell
Walking up the Hill
Sometimes, as walking up a hill, I say
what I'm doing, as though word and act
might come together in rare harmony.
I'm walking up the hill, I say,
and above the trees Orion lies
on his side, his belt studded with light.
From there, I see you moving about the house,
the little life, so perilous, we make
out of living at the edge of it.
Every day we wake to farther
escarpments of its reaches.
I am walking up the hill. I can see
what I think I'll call forever, a hill,
and up on top, a clear night sky.
I can't remember what they were
anymore, but I may not have wanted
all those things I said I did.
They seemed plausible at the time,
their various times, and when I could,
I just stepped forward and took one.
Or stood there and let whatever
it was take me. I know the past
is gone. A strange exhilaration
takes its place, like flying over
a country where you lived once.
You see it all, and yet see nothing.
Summer coming to an end,
leaves about to change, a blind
white-haired seed floats past the window.
Six Miles Up
sliding over somewhere, Utah,
to see what mountains are,
how thin a dress they wear,
how sharp and sloped and draped
I see a vein of road
leading up a ridge,
a ragged switchback through trees,
and wonder what it was
and if he got
far enough away to find it.
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