Climbing Monument Mountain

When I climb Monument Mountain
It is always with a friend
The same friend
And every time we climb it

The mountain reminds us
That we are not getting any younger
I already know this
But the mountain rubs it in

One time in the Fall
It was so icy
That we were slipping
And losing our footing

Every other step
And laughing at ourselves
Finding our clumsiness funny
Now four years later

The mountain is kinder
Seeing that we are slipping
Without ice
It wants us to

Go up the long way
Which is less steep
And with less puffing
It gets to hear us talk more

We go down the more direct way
I think we will keep
Climbing this mountain
Until we can’t anymore

Then maybe we will rest in the cave
That Melville and Hawthorne
Made famous
By seeking its shelter

During a thunderstorm
Where I have seen
Raindrops fall from the ledge
In long beaded necklaces

Like the strings of a harp
And I imagine that the mountain
Must be a little sad that poets
Don’t live as long as mountains