For three days the weather refused to co-operate
veiling the mountain in grey density
it could have been sympathy
terrain had gone one up
in their competition for intruders.
The helicopter took a rain check
returning to its city home
waiting to be called from the bench
back to the arena and starring role.
We knew it was a woman
referred to as “she” or “her”
the others in the party
interviewed by visiting policemen – the town too small to have its own.
Did they remain in the village on vigil
until she was brought back down to earth?
Or get the hell out of this place
where hell had come to them.
Muffled. Softened. Hushed.
until the helicopter returns
with requiem chatter.
Tarpaulin wrapped stilled life
rotor wake spun
in one last dance.
It was easy
before she had a name
“ 28-year-old female climber ”
anonymity a space station airlock
separating two worlds : living and dead.
it was so much more tragic.