At the age of nine, I climbed, crawled vertically up the hill
over rocks and thorns, through nettle and brier and berry cane,
hand over hand, a ladder of roots and rocks to the top. Still
and windless, where looking down on the house to ascertain
the new perspective from the height, I saw it shrink down until
I realized my life was an atom, in the larger world, a tiny grain.
Half a century later, the climb is locked in chains of change.
What was so mountainous, seems smaller now, but uphill
made more difficult by the touch of time and a twinge of pain.
From the summit, the house appears a toy, and smaller still,
here, out of breath and bone-weary from the sweat and strain.
I remember, then I was out of breath and had to rest until
I could descend down into the yard as it all loomed up again.
# # #