The Hill

by Mercedes Lawry

Quick-winged in a chrysalis of shadow,
she and he went up the hill
with vague agendas aside from vista,
the heady lift that came with ascension,
removal from slog and bog and bitter roots.

She and he went up the hill
with sketchy motives aside from frisson
of elevation, escape from chatter and natter
and wounded glances, into a tender silhouette,
a refuge, a pristine cocoon.

With something resembling love, though not fully,
at times false, at times diminished,
she and he went up the hill,
and thick with the unsettled and suspicious,
were depleted by a constant shift in trust.

Lust flared at odd moments and might again
on a peak with a rumpus of wind.
The tremble of flesh might again ring from touch.
Breath might again catch and shiver, when
she and he went up the hill.

Or they might each be consumed entire
by exhaustion, this romantic scrabble
taking a toll that left them with little choice so that
she and he went up the hill
and neither, neither came down.

Copyright 2016, Mercedes Lawry

Mercedes Lawry has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Natural Bridge, and Switched-0n Gutenberg. Thrice-nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she’s published two chapbooks, most recently Happy Darkness. She’s also published short fiction, essays and stories, and poems for children. Mercedes lives in Seattle.

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