My Hill in Amador

Do hard things

The face in the mirror says to me.

And into the cold I go.

Down at first

Cautious steps looking for ice

And the mossy wetness you cannot see.

On to the granite sheets

Of a Gold Country sidewalk.

Passed the shops where the women huddle

On the weekends

Looking at a shawl or

The flags you put someplace on your lawn

That say

Wine a bit

You’ll feel better.

The hill is down further,

Passed the post office

Following the creek

And the sounds of the frogs that began

One wet night in January.

I start with bold steps.

Mindful of the hammies, the glutes.

I go into low about halfway.

Just me and the darkness

Only now

Beginning to show a sailor’s delight.

Breathing harder

Hands come out, arms start to swing.

A black diamond grade

That I’d need just three turns to take

If there was snow.


And a dog barks.

Closer still

He barks again.

Head up

Nothing but the movement

And breathing.

No question about stopping but some might.

I push on


At last.

I can turn and

The sun not yet itself up much

But the sky has gone from coffee black

To a seam of something red just over the hill.

God from God

Light from light

True God from True God.

Time to turn and head out

String Bean Alley and down the other side.

Tell Sisyphus, today’s job is done,

Do hard things.

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