Today's poem is by Jeffrey Skinner

The Climbers

Poor men. On either side a green shield
angled against their ascent. The summit then
snagged in cloud. Or, the false drama
of clarity, senses free of obstruction—

Look, everyone, everywhere I turn, I see!
But poor Jesus had God's ear, curled
inside, and no need of height to hear, static-
free. He descended into desert.

Poor men. They climb like a column
of ants, lugging heartache on their backs
as if it were food. They set up camp
and a few freeze, a few return. But the danger

is minimal. Most stumble down,
throw knapsacks in the trunk, drive home—
What air, what views! Poor men. Poor Jesus,
blinking away the sun with his endless No.

Copyright © 2002 Jeffrey Skinner All rights reserved
from West Branch
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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