‘Higher,’ the swaying beech leaves beckon, whispering drunken enticements into
the humid morning air.
‘Come higher. Come to us!
Leave earth behind,
Arousing my senses
From within the fog-enshrouded,
Is the aroma of a drug I cannot refuse.
My flight is borne by the slumping crags,
Their garments of moss skidding beneath
Me as I ascend
Will I arrive in heaven or “heaven”?
Minuscule factors — the grip of one hand, tread of one boot, tilt of one stone —
My side of fate.
Drunken trees make no pacts.
Then, suspended by the arms of the morning
And God Himself
I discover my lungs have space to fill themselves.
And here at last, after scraping against death with the shreds of my fingernails
I find that I want to live.
But the journey down is through the swaying leaves of drunken trees, and I know they’ve made no pact.