The idea of the slide, the ladders,
the cable, the cliff-walking, probably
stings more than the bee itself. Still
there was no shame turtling up the peak
of Gothics, far below a graveyard of trees
remnants from last year’s hurricane.
At 4736 feet above sea level
anything seems possible. Your boots grow
wings and the urge to touch the sun
is there. Spires now visible from the summit
of Armstrong, at Upper Wolfjaw
it was all Giant. There’s something about
these mountains, the glacier-carved deep
valleys, ridges rising together, peaks
so close they bring an intimacy
to the landscape. And just as quickly
you drop down into dark forest and see
these woods dwell in another element
and if you stop walking, listen
the silence reverberates back.
DAVID CREWS (davidcrewspoetry.com) has poems published or forthcoming in The Greensboro Review, The Southeast Review, Paterson Literary Review, Wisconsin Review, The Carolina Quarterly, 5AM, and others. Essays found in Adanna Literary Journal and SPECTRUM. Most recently, he was nominated for a 2013 Pushcart Prize. He both teaches and lives in northwest New Jersey. This poem is part of a chapbook manuscript that catalogs the hiking of “The 46ers,” or the forty-six highest mountains in New York’s Adirondack State Park.