Jared Carter grew up in Elwood, Indiana
I pause now, on the mountainside,
to add these lines
To those inscribed by others. Wide,
the gulfs of time
Between us, yet the paths we chose
still brought us here.
Far down the river, early snow
falls through the sheer
Defiles and cliffs; a flight of birds
has lost its way.
The rock face where I scratch these words
is streaked with gray.
Nothing to feel. No steps lead down
into that stream.
Instead, it rises – not to drown
a last few dreams
But show that this is not the end.
It has been there
From the beginning. To ascend
is to be where
You started. Those were only days
that came between,
And sun and rain, that could not stay,
They are not wisdom pure, but can
What we decline to understand –
how that dark coach
Will come at last, and stop before
the tavern where
We’ve been the guest. And how the moor
ahead is bare
And bleak in its simplicity.
How we must rise
And take the coachman’s hand, and see
through his disguise.~Jared Carter