The Other Side of the Hill
The one I didn't have the courage to climb.
About a mile away from my house, there’s this hill,
tall and magnificent,
that rises up from the ground
the same way that when I’m swimming, the water breaks
every time I gasp for air.
Almost like it was dropped there
by a child in his playroom,
or like a penny from your pocket.
Like it wasn’t supposed to be there.
* * *
I used to drive by it all the time,
wondering what it must be like on the other side.
I would wonder if there was a lost city
with treasures hidden behind crumbling pieces of ruin
or a field of the wildest animals,
playful and free, hungry for adventure.
Or maybe I would find the very edge of the world,
a place where falling hurts,
where loneliness revels in silence.
* * *
I thought about driving up there once,
just to see what it was like.
To see if maybe it was high enough for me to touch
the edge of the brightest star.
I thought about it. So many times.
But I just kept driving.
Instead watching its majesty
slowly disappear from my review mirror.
Another time, maybe. The right time.
* * *
I’ve been a lot of different places now,
crossed a lot of brides,
climbed a lot of hills.
But whenever I come back home,
I think about stopping at our favorite restaurant,
the schoolyard where I should’ve begged you to dance with me,
the garden rooftop where I first grasped a glimpse
of what it might be like to hold your heart in my hands.
Just to see what you must look like now,
on the other side of it all.
I think about it. So many times.
But I just keep driving.