Mount Takao

Up and up, up the mountain alone,
but not, for the prying sun always
tries to reach me though the stooping
pines.

Up and up, I drag my legs to the summit.
Ancient yet ever-young, our mighty friend
greets me with snow streaked shoulders,
delighted that I have made the pilgrimage.

Green tea ice cream, tasted and savored in
memory’s mouth, cannot be found.
Effort must be its own reward.

Down I start and down I stop.
Frost flowers, crouching within the craggy
folds of the mountain side like hermits
hoping to evade the sun’s judgment, listen
with me to an explanation which I can only
half understand.

Down and down, legs dangerously buoyant,
hopping over rocks that would trip me with indifference.
Faster fellows bounce past me, flying far out of sight.

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