Annika Reff

May 20, 2002


clawing forward with every step
pushing the iron deeper into the rock and snow
with each push
I go further
past the rejection
the barriers
the burning in my lungs
fears melt into the slush below

I will not turn back now
I’m here to soar
to fly among the eagles that now circle far below

the air keeps thinning
and I keep climbing
I climb toward the atmosphere
to the limit of man without wings.

the peak is not far now

the years of training
the blood
the sweat
the tears

I take the final step
and I’m surrounded by a halo of grey fog and mist
the water droplets collecting on my flushed cheeks

I touch the virgin snow and the rock that are
so primordial
so long lasting that to it I am but a second’s flash of light and energy momentarily impeding on its isolation

and I am one with Mother Earth and the gods
the essence of life flowing from my fingertips to my frostbitten toes

the peak of Mount Olympus is not far above me
I hold my hand up to reach it
like Tantalus

but I am only human.
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