Burden

“I refuse to be burdened,” he says.
“With things. Things are empty.
Empty as people.
People with their sneaking looks at the bus stop.
And their worried brows at the door,
standing there,
shifting from foot to foot,
in their grimy tennis shoes
asking me if I want to grab a bite maybe
at the place
just on the corner.

Burdened with their touch,
their arms across my shoulders,
their hands reaching across the breakfast table,
their letters,
and their worthless concern.”

He hoists his pack onto his shoulders,
turns away from the lodge,
toward the mountain,
and begins to climb.

We watch, his father and I,
our hands in our pockets.

“I want to get high enough,” he calls,
looking back,
“Past the tree line.
Past the ridge of clouds that circle the snow.
Up high enough
That I will not burdened with anything.
Not even breathing.”

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