Aspen and Pine
by Mike Berger

Breath comes hard on the steep incline. In
the soft soil, you take three steps and slide
back two. Sweat fills your head band.

Something you can’t explain wells up from deep
inside. Why do people climb. You know it’s
impossible to explain; driven by some primal

As I mount the top, I see the reason why I climb.
My eyes search. Below lies miles of yellow and
green. Aspen’s are brilliant yellow; in clumps that
form an odd mosaic dancing through the pine.

My smile extends to my toes. I hold my gaze. This
scene is so powerful, it sends shivers down my