Hand over hand up the side of the cliff
we grappled with the side of Olympus
no one sane had ever tried before, especially not
in the middle of winter. The world stretched around us
like Galileo’s Europa; we were a million miles from Earth
on our way to meet the gods.
Not even mountain goats disturbed the breathless
quiet—we passed a blocked-up cave that one man said
had once housed an oracle. I could picture
the crazy old man who had lived there, years
before Christ, brown arms wrapped around anemic knees
shaking, begging Apollo
for an end to the winter.
Holly Day, Minnesota, USA