Pulse Check

 I sing my song to the grass and the aspen
as my cadence flows. I run as the cougar
runs, the impression of my feet in the mud
a reminder that I passed by the big pine tree
at the top of the hill. The sun arcs across
the sky then rescinds its heat as it dips
down, engulfed by brazen crimson before
falling into the night. Darkness pervades,

closing in around me until there remains
one solitary light: mine. A spotlight
on the steep trail ahead of me. One
step after another. I want to be

still, sleep beneath the cozy blanket of
dust that envelops the rocks, amassed,
relentlessly rising, and the climbing
continues as the doubts creep in.
I walk with that weight for miles. Hours.
My momentum diminishes and I ask
myself: Why continue? What is the point?

In the mountain shadows cast by stars,
allies appear. Wells from which I guzzle,
hungrily hoping they will make it easier.
Only the tired wind responds with silence.
It is there, within. Amid my shortcomings
and sins, the most prominent of peaks,
a pulse. Reverberating. Realizing a rhythm,
my legs resume running. Once pervasive,
the pain becomes irrelevant. I let it go.

Soaring faster, I descend. Bursting
while the morning ignites. Legs extend,
leaping, loving flying, fully living,
breathing—finally believing! I endure,

and the sun begins its arc once more.