“Thirteen Thousand Feet” by Steve Mandes
I leaned forward into a
hiked up over the tree line—
looked out over the vast valley below,
saw the cloud heavy sky merge with mountain tops while cold wind
invisibly eroding the terrain.
I rested on a sandstone rock once submerged in an ancient sea.
Studied my hands covered in dust,
felt my face burnt by the sun.
Breathing cold crisp air
I found my mind letting go
of office doors and desks cluttered with tablets of to-do lists.
Listening to the echoes of wind
I looked over the valley and started
seeking the sixth grade God I once knew
after feeling the cool wind wash over my face
as the great silence whooshed aloud between endless mountain
and the flat white splattered sky
I knew I had to let go of that old sixth grade God-
replace him with a God more powerful than a commandment-
the God that moves down a mountain
shaping the planet,