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Mountain Men


Hunter's Pass, CO © 2018 Andrew Arnett

The car wound through the Rocky Mountains.

the view was devastating.

a 1000 foot drop hung

over the side of the road.

mountain peaks scratched the clouds above.

chasms opened up to the center of the earth.

we pulled over to have a picnic.

there was a stream nearby, with

gold rocks on the banks.

“That’s the run off from the gold mining,”

Sophie’s dad explained.

“The stream here is polluted. You can’t

fish here.”

We ate cheese, crackers, pickles . . .”

“Look up on the mountain,” Sophie said,

“there are people up there.”

men like ants clung to the side of the

mountain. some dangled from ropes.

there was a certain madness there,

a need, as it were, to laugh in the face

of death.

one way or another, we were all

clinging to the side of a rock.

a blue jay flew over and watched us

from a branch.

I threw it some bread. it swooped down

and ate that then,

came closer.

I threw it some more bread then

we were on our way again,

twisting and turning down

the mountain side.

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