Why Middle-aged Men Climb Mountains?
by Dave Flitcroft


Why middle-aged men climb mountains?
    a task best left to those thirty years younger.
to stop heart pounding, ear ringing in deafening silence
    at a place where nothing has changed for a million years.
to surprise a flock of busy turkeys, to seek in vain the
    leaf-rustling bird, to return the scold of a tail twitching squirrel.
to mingle with the select few who live in this sport exchanging
    banter and eyeing equipment.
to lay in the cool November sun in the tall grass with
    memories of the past.
to stand at the pinnacle naming other mountains (trophies of other climbs)
    and watch cloud shapes against the blue-blue sky.
to nurse sore muscles one more time and return weary and proud.
and plan the next trip.