Ascension

It looks dark up there — where the water
comes from — the gray drainage tube

up the hill in the woods behind our house.
Rock stacked on rock, a rock mountain.

My brother says a lawn gnome’s up there
and also a tire. He swears.

It’s a cold December day, snow descends,
lands on and burns my reddened ears,

while with clumsy hands, I climb
rocks that gleam from ice:

a burnished blue beating purple to its core,
slick as frozen hell looking to pull me down.

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