On a mountain of modest height,
rendered in verse for its appetite
for irony and steadfastness,
they found the man, the poets say,
guarding his skeleton where it lay.
The way to the summit is strewn
with the rubble of prayer, sown
among the crags and cloven rock;
the shifting slate of creation
leavened by small revelation.
The hill, unmoved by pilgrims’ passion,
has shrugged off radioactive ash,
the dust of human hubris, and ice.
The retreat is littered with the living,
hauling home their hope and misgiving.