Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Not much Farther

Not much farther.
Don't worry about it.
Just up the trail.
Thru those oak trees.

See that mound over there?
On the other side is a buried truck.
Old Ford from the twenties.
There is an old safe without a door.
Jack-in-the-pulpits right by it.
Someones crime spree ended right there.

Not much farther.
Don't worry about it.
I gotta rest a minute.
Take a drink of water.

It is windy up here on this ridge.
Just up this trail.
This trail is deep.
Old trail.

Look out for the muddy part.
Rain last night.
Sign of deer.
Sign of coyote too.

See those cottonwoods?
The trail branches off.
Gonna take the right fork.
The left fork leads to Mt. Lucia.
Not a mountain.
Just a big hill.

Gotta rest again.
It is hot up here.

Not much farther.
Don't worry about it.
I told you why we were coming here.
Maybe five minutes more.

These hills are old.
Full of clay.
Steep.
The valleys are full of oak and walnut.
The tops have cottonwood.
Prairie grass and yucca.

Almost there.
I know your legs hurt.
This place looks different.
It has been many years.
Don't worry about it.
I know where it is.

Stop.

It is right here.
Gotta rest first.
What a view.
Sun will be setting soon.
Ok I am ready now.

It is right down there.
On the south side of the ridge.
Watch your step.
Very steep.

This spot use to be clear.
Full of saplings now.
Found the badger skull right over there.
By the shale outcropping.

Do you feel it?
It is coming back to me now.
This place is sacred.

It is getting dark.
Can we talk about this later?
I am so tired.
My bones ache.
Can't think.
Need to rest.

Just gonna crawl over there.
On that pile of oak leaves.
We can talk about it later.
Let me close my eyes.
Stop talking.
Can't understand you anyway.

Sinking now.
Wind is way up there.
Sun is gone.
Moon too.
Not much farther.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Dave said...

Haunting piece.

My brother taught me this trick, which he learned when leading large groups on hikes in the mountains of Honduras: Whenever anyone asks how much farther it is, ALWAYS answer, "We're almost there!"

6:16 PM, July 18, 2007  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

My scoutmaster always used it too. In the movie "Men with Guns" a retired doctor is looking for some of his students in an unnamed central American country. People along the way keep telling him "mas adelante....mas adelante"

9:08 AM, July 19, 2007  
Blogger MB said...

Hey. :-)

This one gets me. A whole lot said with not much. And several ways for me to relate to it.

2:26 PM, July 19, 2007  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Thanks!!! This one took me quite awhile to write and I had been thinking about it for a long time.

2:32 PM, July 19, 2007  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

I think I would recognize a Fred Garber poem anywhere. Another fine one...

10:41 PM, July 30, 2007  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Patry...thank you so much for the kind words. My son wants me to take him to the place described in the poem. He remembers it vaguely. We went there when he was young.

9:16 AM, July 31, 2007  
Blogger Beth said...

What they said - a very haunting, compelling piece that I'll be thinking about for days.

8:18 PM, August 11, 2007  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Thanks Beth! Sometime we just need to find a place to rest.

10:04 PM, August 11, 2007  

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