Climbing

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Climbing

Elder Flowers by Tavaron

When we met at Gatwick Airport

you seemed uneasy – closing ears

against trolley clatter and agitated voices,

the tyranny of departure times.


As we walked the Cevennes, you mellowed,

seemed at home among villages that grew,

rough hewn from granite slopes.


You opened out with the horizons,

as we climbed between boulders strewn

when mountain bones stirred.


You saw through my camouflage

of cagoule and boots. Stretched your hand

across a stream where ice-cold water


fizzed among slippery stones.

You showed me wild orchids, taught

me names: early purple, elder-flowered.


We watched the distant landscape:

the river’s extravagant curve,

interplay of varied blues and greens –

reduced to tapestry, as we stood

together at the summit.
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