Uphill Writing

An afternoon run up the false summit
of every promising idea,

reveals the paper crunch of last spring’s

But no words sweat free for me to suck
from my lip,

no sentences stick stuck in the knapweed
sketches across my legs.

I smell and peel and pry and chip, but no
phrase can be reasoned from the ponderosa’s math.

Until finally, head down as I run uphill, I stumble
on an old man pissing.

One hand supports against a larch as the
other steers his yellow stream,

and then he stops, but still holds on.
For seconds sliding to minutes he’s

a statue staring where a stream
should be.

And while his gaze is fixed, and so admirably

I see he’s me, a poet, holding too long onto
his poem.

Jeremiah Foster currently works as a paraeducator in western Montana. He spends most of his free time roaming public land with his incredible wife and two rowdy dogs.