Ask any fiction writer and they will likely tell you…
The road devours the trees and the mountain, like fruit,
excretes the miracle of convenience. At the end of the trail
a memorial looks over the valley, where mountains
crash into a shoreline of silvery pastures shot through
with pink evening light, where factories ride the fog
like freighters on a becalmed estuary. Above, the marble
memorial gleams so white the war seems to have ended
just a year or two ago though the tarnished plaques
gives the dates of two world wars. Nearby
some teenagers are drinking and having a picnic.
I didn’t hike up the mountain to judge the happiness
of children watching the sunset on a wool blanket
laden with bread and beer. I came to breathe,
a necessity simpler and truer than faith, to feast
at the common table of trees and mountains.
I came to memorialize a tiny patch of earth elsewhere
whose pastures, ashes, birches, and persimmon trees
have no marble to sanctify or save,
no monument but the common one of breath.