Past the bodies of the dead when we come down,
eyes frozen open
or frozen shut. Did they struggle or
sleep to death?
Past the near-dead calling in muted tongues,
holding out waxy hands,
reaching for mercy
They knew the risk. They made
the granular calculations balancing air
and weight and time, sitting
on the thread between majesty
and despair. They knew the price of failure—
wandering in the breathless cold,
drained in the middle of the death zone,
like opening a vein, fading out
before their lives were
Holy Mother, hear our prayer.
2 thoughts on “Mountain Appeal”
Haunting, beautiful images (if frightening). Well done.
Thanks, Wendy. I’m sure I can’t imagine what it’s like up there…definitely frightening.