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.