A gale pushes me up the mountain
to a white cap above wind-wobbled trees,
where limbs must trust the loose fit of snow,
and the mountain’s breath whitens the beard.
Far below, the snow is rain.
The paint of a rainbow melts,
spreads over the valley walls.
A youth brushed his masterpiece days
down there so many years ago,
and I left that one to climb to the top of a life
where every stone is cold. If the wind
cannot take me higher, every trail
twists in black or white
through the only way to go.
Robert S. King, a native Georgian, now lives in Lexington, Kentucky. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including Atlanta Review, California Quarterly, Chariton Review, Hollins Critic, Kenyon Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, Negative Capability, Southern Poetry Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He has published four chapbooks (When Stars Fall Down as Snow, Garland Press 1976; Dream of the Electric Eel, Wolfsong Publications 1982; The Traveller’s Tale, Whistle Press 1998; and Diary of the Last Person on Earth, Sybaritic Press, 2014). His full‐length collections are The Hunted River and The Gravedigger’s Roots, both in 2nd editions from FutureCycle Press, 2012; One Man's Profit from Sweatshoppe Publications, 2013; and Developing a Photograph of God, Glass Lyre Press, 2014. Robert’s work has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of Net award. He currently is editor-in-chief of Kentucky Review. His personal website is www.rskingpoet.com