aligned

We rode a train from Zürich to Innsbruck
(as I did as a youth to ski with friends)—
we rode a train
through the glorious geography
that long ago shaped my definitions
and my expectations
of mountains—of mountainous,
and, appropriately,
of alpine.

We rode between high tree-lined ridges,
in the shadows of sharp peaks well above the tree-line,
over passes, through rock,
past cliffs and water falling down cliffs,
by mountain lakes,
and along the clear, rapidly moving water of alpine rivers.

We passed villages with churches set up on high
and ruins of old towers,
and the distinctive architecture of the high country
with heavy, securely anchored shingled roofs,
and reinforced, if decoratively, roofs and balconies.
And as we looked out the window.
I shared my definitions, expectations
and memories with my loved ones.

And then the whole of the large railway window
would again be filled with massive land mass
going up—
all the way up—
no room for sky.

And even if you crouched down to look up,
you couldn’t,
even then,
find the sky,

and I rode
in rare alignment of memory, expectation and hope.

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