Who comes here will not leave.
The thought manifests,
like that sudden peak, framed –
as it ever was – by toothed black rock,
except that today it is you who reached
the snow-dazzled shoulder of this pass.
Be aware how green the ice, how
indigo the sky, how thin the air.
This is your highest place.
Never shrink, but stand and feel
the chill – suck in the oxygen
like the miser gathers gold.
Feel the sweat-heavy shirt,
clammed to the skin,
how the heat of the climb dies
to leave chilled wetness on the back.
Stand aside – let the new one cut his
first footsteps to the valley floor.