Summit Unreached

I wandered alone on a mountain, lost.
Each path looked to me the same.
Every aspen, yellow-bright blinked happily
against a coniferous sea.
The stones were strewn glacially
which made for difficult climbing
My sea level lungs struggled for air.
Others had raced ahead, reached the precipice
witnessed the dying of the day,
while I nuzzled in a musky den of boulders.
Snow then settled on me, braced in a sleeping bag
crumpled near a blazing fire,
pack tangled like mistletoe in a tree.
That was my one success that night,
a spirit rousing blazing fire,
perfume of some wild beast nearby
prodding me to add more fuel.
I remember the rocks, the food dangle,
and the defeat of a summit unreached.

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