On the summit

They’ve brought up cars and pianos, Promises and pledges. Some became better men, Some never changed, some just died, clueless. There is a question, buried at the foot of each cairn That points the way. What if, they ask, as they shift Across the plateau to lure in new wanderers. Those French boys, raw with blood and youth— Were they real, clambering over the snowy lip of Five Fingers Gully? They dissolved into hooded shapes, Will it matter we’ve never asked their names?

Maria Kardel