Bowing to mountains

by Katharine Burke, Norway

A half a mountain-
Shear jagged rock face 
Meets me when I venture out
From home now. 

The other half 
Was blasted into boulders
And ground into gravel 
To form the road 
I now travel on 

And I wonder 
What was worth
A straighter line from here to there?
So unbelievably unnecessary:
A half a mountain for 
a half a minute’s travel.

How does one measure a mountain?
Memories and mystery
Your centuries of secrets 
Disemboweled in moments
Yet still so imposing
 In your stark breakage and loss

And so I have made a little ritual
Of bowing hand to heart
As I greet you on my journey
Holding space
Carrying grief for you (and me).

I never knew how much I loved you 
Until we lost you
Or how much I needed you
Until you were gone. 

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