Last Day Mountain Blues

I just got back from four days of skiing in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The first leg of the week was with an old ski buddy, a resurrection of an annual trip that had been on hiatus due to time and resources. Due to age. We hit the double diamonds in the back bowl, hit many of the bars downtown (really, in both cases, it hit us), and what we lacked in form and endurance we made up for in effort and wit. After he left, my sister and her kids—Colorado natives—came up for two nights of games and good times on the more salubrious half of the trip. We saw John Popper play at après with his new band and scavenged for free Smartwool socks, we played a dynamic board game called Ticket to Ride and packed a picnic for our day on the mountain.

The only thing I have missed more than the mountains was to share them with my wife and kids.

It’s the Last Day Mountain Blues.

On the south ridge at Steamboat

 

It hits me while unlatching my boots

A sadness so full even this I will miss;

The last time setting foot

In these two shoes of stone.

 

A lifetime ago the mountains were home

I wrote and I drank cause I was alone.

The choice to go back to where I was known

Means that every return feels like here that I’m from.

 

The shush of the snow, the sky blue white sky,

A white pristine clean, a blue glaring clear,

Crystal too is the air

Where nothing is up here.

 

From way up on high is little downtown

A nest of wood and brick in a sea of whitecaps

Where people pass like the fall

Alike but nevr the same.

 

A lifetime ago the mountains were home

I wrote and I drank cause I was alone.

The choice to go back to where I was known

Means that every return feels like here that I’m from.

Apres beer

 

In between two places, always apart nevr one

A few days of the year it ain’t ever enough

But what lifetime is?

Mountains don’t ever get old

Getting home is better

Than the one left behind

 

A lifetime ago the mountains were home

I wrote and I drank cause I was alone.

The choice to go back means that getting home

Is far better than the one left behind.

 

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  1. #1 by swk on 04/23/2011 - 10:04 AM

    I like this poem, Rob. There isn’t enough poetry in the world today. I can relate to the last lines:

    The choice to go back means that getting home/Is far better than the one left behind

    from my recent trip to my home, Oregon, where everything felt intuitive and yet unfamiliar, leaving me in a bittersweet place.

    • #2 by Robert Duffer on 04/24/2011 - 5:13 PM

      Thanks, SWK. It’s the paradox of the traveler, always finding home, never making one.

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