Mike Cole


For Jane

At 20,000 feet,
roped in a line of silhouettes,
stepping single file
across a sky scraped clean
by wind so strong
she can lean her full weight against it,
she knows a hurt so deep
she closes her eyes
before each step and builds
new reasons for going on,
knows how new
the Bolivian light will seem
those mornings after the climb
when she wakes late
in her room in La Paz,
stands in the open window
looking out at the mountain
that crushed her spirit
to dark stone
then gave it back to her
with brighter wings
to carry her between here
and her next climb.

Mike Cole lives and writes and waits on the arrival of poems in the mountains of Central California near Yosemite.