When I was younger
we would drive this road
until we reached the base
of the mountains. We would
hike trails of brown dirt
woven through with roots and rock,
laughing. Finding entry to
a cold stream was fresh relief
on those hot days.

Today I drive this same road
but find a new climb, one sprouted
inside me. It bends me toward
the ground with no relent. I grow
familiar with mounds of ants
and marvel how they still move
so quickly. I do not yet know
what awaits me at the top,
and I wonder when I will reach it.
Screaming, I know I am still alive.