As the snow melts they sit up and sing
with whatever thin air they have left—
three hundred climbers all white skin,
brown bones, wool and rope and mixed fibres.
Imagine it: the inside of your head a cairn,
the wind going right through you and your feet
are sticking out of the shortening drifts.
You’re in the process of becoming a landmark:
part shale, hanging on by the skin of your teeth.
Harold Rex Interfectus Est
We all knew the story—
how an arrow caught him off guard,
on foot—I didn’t understand the Latin
but I knew what it meant:
this one’s Harold and this is how
he died. The lights went out.
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