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The time spent dreaming had brought him here
to the mountaintop whose gate laid a forked road before him
he walked on looking directly toward the timber’s gap
clouds hung above the piercing blue sky of this afternoon

He had wanted her love to broaden his journey
to carry him through the narrow gully of cedar filled depth
over toward the tussocky dam and wire grass pasture
stumbling now upon rocks her face jarred his stance

Why did she not walk with him on this day?
the climb to this point had been rugged
his boots lay torn around dust-ridden ankles
pushing forth the tree above warned of his self

Alone, broken, windswept, forlorn, aching
turning the bend to descend into this valley
if only she had been by his side
it was not to be for her

He approached the gully
scared
frightened
darkness
wetness
cold springs
boots flooded with water

She could not appear now
he could not continue
the fence of mahogany lay beyond his reach
he sat
alone
not knowing where to turn

Crows encircled his nakedness
she had not made the climb
she had not even attempted the rise
why?