Huayna Picchu


Shameless shag of winter's cusp
up, on path four baskets wide,
padding along-a llama and man.
Chapped, sandaled feet and hooves'
clack on rock, plump hands that gently
lead up, though the peak is not near.
Wavering mountains of blessed deceit;
kids wait at the table for Dad to return.

Nothing on Earth is quite like a man
and his llama. They well know the reward
lie not at the highest, but in the rhythmic
wandering of staunch valleys and turns.
Bright beads in swing-only motion
in unbroken air-green promises
of moisture speak to empty, woven jars.

I've seen them there, up where one
has to stop to let another squirm past.
I thought to offer a ration, but did not.
For in lulling stride I see both
the weariness of a breadwinner,
and the replenishment of a wanderer.

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