John was different from other backpackers
older by a decade
the longitude of his face
mapped much experience.
The eyes of a soldier
returned from war …. but not to peace.
Alaska was home
Unspoken, but understood not to have always been.
the state which displaced Texas
was that kind of place.
Coincidence can randomly tumble combination
opening the vault.
A casual conversation
about significant mountaineering landmark
a first ascent of North America’s highest peak.
Cobalt bleached eyes gaze through the pause
stepping into the silence
a low hypnotic recitation
the voice of God.
The mountaineer had come into his workplace
for late, fine tuning purchases
just in case fuel
transactions settled by a pretty Japanese assistant.
The climber turned to leave….. then back to the woman
speaking their native tongue.
softly asking if she will
The request shifts to spiritual
a salesman’s plausibility
“it could be the last time.”
The ascent was bold and direct
archaeology confirmed the summit
a telephoto lens
anticipated glory’s eve
He was never seen again.