Return Trip
by Michael Brett

Imagine -then- the fighting on this steep crag whose fingernail top
Tries to scratch Buddha's belly, the North Star: the noise,
The smell of the unburied dead -from miles away.

Its high cliffs still swim between Neptune and the Moon
Then, its battle-sharpened edge was the gnomon of a world eclipse
And everything we did seemed like living in a film.

Our footprints are still written down in books and in these skies.
Each climb was a countdown, death or coronation.
Our medals are stars for which our helicopters and rope ladders
Stormed the Great Bear and the Plough.

We pressed a new Hadrian's Wall
Between prosperity and disaster. Here,
We fell into a treasury and took nothing but our name.

Blinded by smoke, we stood
With our dirty boots on diamonds, on this spot.

Look now.
Look now.

This is where we fought.

Copyright © 2010 - Michael Brett
Published: 9/9/10   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem