Runner-up, The Writer’s Digest poetry competition 2018
That was the night we drove to the highlands
And the fierce white peaks were arrows pointed at the stars.
I remember the moon, the colour and texture of snow
Crumbling from the mountain
Tumbling into the dark.
You took me there
Because the day had spread like an oil slick
And tarred my skin
But I saw now the night was not black at all
A screen-print of deep blue hills
Like so many heartbeats
Into the always.
I thought of the night we crossed the icy border into Kyrgyzstan
The flint-arrow mountains
Dipped in shining white
Piercing the inky night
Our feet crushing snow as soft as light
The men who picked us up: hard-faced, kind hearts
Building us a nest of blankets for that cold, cold drive through the high mountain pass
My own heart beats with the rise and fall of the hills,
A symphony of synchronised cardiac rhythms –
And you say, what are you writing?
Squeezing my hand so the pink-white peaks of our knuckles
Form a a miniature mountain range of our own.
And your eyes shine
Because I feel better now
And you know I am ready to start the climb.