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A Summer’s Day in the Dolomites – A New Poem by David Wilson

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We all knew where the happiness would be today,

which was why our route was busy. But no one cared,

it was clear the happiness was making an extra effort

after the months of lockdown we’d had.

Behind us a couple from Slovakia

said they’d be our paparazzi,

send photos of us with the happiness

and we could return the happiness to them.

It was waiting on the shaky wooden bridge

over a canyon where we could look down

and see ourselves with its shadow

on walls of grey limestone far below.

It was in the extra glossy black plumage

of alpine choughs, their whistled sweeeooo

calls echoing off cliffs, and how they came

close then perched, each on one leg, waiting.

And in the sweat patches on our backs

which sunshine dried while we rested,

and ready at the refugio

with cold beers and apple strudel.

Everyone was drenched in it today,

it had the whole mountain to itself

under blue sky with white clouds

which the happiness had emptied of thought.


David Wilson lives in North Yorkshire, U.K. His book  The Equilibrium Line won the 2019 Banff Mountain Fiction and Poetry Award and can be bought here. Readers interested in writing poetry about climbing can find a recent interview at UKClimbing.