Now comes the steep climb

where rocks work loose

and the foot slips and dirt

tumbles. Sometimes you’re erect

other times bent over, or collapsed against

a tree or wall or stone, whatever

will hold you up.

What is clear now, were you to fall:

the path behind you is gone,

swallowed by roots and brambles

and dense cover.

With time, the heart

adapts, courage comes

in small dribbles, water

at the head of a spring.

For now, all there is, is the climbing,

one weary foot above the other.

May love with its secret footholds

carry you to a peaceful place

where you see beyond

the haunting beauty of all

that came before.