By Katharine Coles
It was like climbing a mountain to those of us who’d climbed one. To the others, it was like, I suppose, something else. In other words, we let everybody find her own figure of speech.
Not that it—speech—lay thick on the ground, or mountain; it presented itself one word at a time, far between. A body had to keep an eye out, like for firewood at dusk, or else
miss her chance. Nobody else, let’s face it, cared about metaphor, or even simile, the like-it-or-not-ness of the mountain pretty much getting between a body and her musing, in its going. One
step at a time, anyone could lose herself or someone else just staring at her feet. And if a body meet a body is not mere speech but something that could happen, like hopping a bus—though on the mountain
you’ll catch no rides, worse luck, the mountain requires to be climbed on foot, one after the other, nothing else will get you up it. There’s nothing like such obduracy but in the wild, nobody can tell you otherwise. No simple figure,
this struggle: just a crag, your burden, and your own two feet. Say otherwise, talk through your hat, which I don’t care for.
Source: Poetry (April 2019)
More Poems about Activities
I come home,
feet about to bleed
from angry stomping.
“Boy!” says Mom.
“Quit making all that racket.”
But what does she expect
when, day after day,
haters sling words at me
like jagged stones
designed to split my skin?
I retreat to my room,
collapse on the bed,
count, “One. Two....
Nowhere Else to Go
Turn off the lights.
Wear another layer.
(Sounds like a dad.)
(Sounds like a mom.)
You say hand-me-down.
I say retro.
Walk some more.
(See what I did there,
Your name in Sharpie
on a good water bottle.
Backpack. New habits.
No thanks, don’t need a bag.
Tell ten friends
More Poems about Arts & Sciences
The Last Word
I am a door of metaphor
waiting to be opened.
You’ll find no lock, no key.
All are free to enter, at will.
Simply step over the threshold.
Remember to dress for travel, though.
Visitors have been known
to get carried away.Illustration by Shadra Strickland
The Racist Bone
I know this is a real thing, because
When I was a kid, my big sister took me
To the Capitol Theater, in my hometown
Of Rochester, NY,
And there was a movie that afternoon,
The Tingler, which starred Vincent Price,
And what I remember best...
More Poems about Nature
I want to put down what the mountain has awakened.
My mouthful of grass.
My curious tale. I want to stand still but find myself moved patch by patch.
There's a bleat in my throat. Words fail me here. Can you understand? I...
Whenever you see a tree
how many long years
this tree waited as a seed
for an animal or bird or wind or rain
to maybe carry it to maybe the right spot
where again it waited months for seasons to change
until time and temperature were fine enough to...