The range of mountains,
Its rumpled ridges
Like paper curled under your fingers,
Crimped edges of an accordion,
Is rising with the light,
Clouds weaving by overhead,
Like horses cantering through trails of a forest,
Manes flying with the wind,
Past trees still lost in sleep.
It’s so hard, sometimes,
To wake yourself from a dream,
To submerge yourself
In the ice-cold water of reality.
The rim of dawn is the color of a tin pail,
Paling to reds and pinks,
Like water when it catches flares
From the sun,
Messages, smoke signals,
In the reflection.
Like the scabbed knees of children
Sitting in a row along the curb,
Resting their bikes and scooters
On the neighborhood sidewalks
As though they’re leashed dogs, left to wait,
The mountains are a series of shaky outlines
Under an uneven scribble of sky,
Wobbly like words
Written on a letter while on the bus.
A series of doorknobs, the mountain range
Tries to alert you to the presence
Of the opening you seek,
An answer to find
When you look on the other side.
Wherever you are, it seems
We’re forever thinking of where to go
Next, and even where we’ve been.
On the drive by the elementary school
I once attended, many eternities ago,
I notice shaggy piles of leaves
Swept to corners far away from the towering trees,
Children queueing up to go back inside
From the playground
To empty classrooms
Still wondering at the ghosts
Of their unanswered questions,
Pencils that couldn’t erase
The past, all that’s passed
Like papers across desks,
Leaves windblown to another place,
But time halts for no one.
So I try to catch up,
Still looking at the clouds,
Beyond the trees above.
I keep falling in memories,
Skinning my knees on what couldn’t be.
I wait on edges,
Trying to see a hint
Of where I’m supposed to venture
Over the horizon.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter
How broad or colorful my vision
If this borderline is clouded,
Though every time I fall,
I just can’t let go of this reflex
To keep standing again.