far below, from the overlook by Robin C. Coppock
Red silt and sediment.
The gathered rust of tapered centuries
where weakly crumbled canyon clay
had turned to mud when there was water there
then dried to dust
along which treads
a faceless charcoal pencil-sketch wanderer,
erased at the edges,
His travels have kicked up
and crusted onto him;
the bottom layer of the valley
and the man
are blended inextricably.
The distant hazy view imagines
a moment of pause.
A glance to the sun,
whose highest heat is visible today.
Whose rippled sweat is dripping up
from out of dry clay earth.
The sun who sees what he cannot:
the path moves only onward,
You yell for him.
But he, too far to hear the echoes,
searches out the sky.
A numinous expansive blue,
that finds its way inside his chest
and takes up space—
pressures the heart, splits ribs apart,
petrifies his breath.
And almost inadvertently he sees
your peering face
as indistinct to him as he is gray.
And so he knows there’s someone at the top.
And so he knows he cannot stop.
Onward down eternal winding miles.
Robin C. Coppock