when i was little sometimes i’d react
as if i had an allergy to life
which normally rolled smooth and dull and flat
until some spikey incident occurred
and prompted a stampede of panicked sobs
beyond proportion with the humble cause

(a comforting maneuver from my mom
would then restore my horizontal world)

since then i’ve grown to welcome rugged ground
extruding through the surface of our days
and breaking up the mirror-like monotony
that otherwise might be our lullaby

i’ve learned those barbs (as wicked as they are)
are rather like a needle pierced with thread
embroidering our time with colored strands
of pain and joy and ecstasy and fear
which we would miss if all our paths were low
and tranquil like a funeral parade

so here’s to plain and canyon, crag and pike
that make the mixed terrain beneath our feet
for every uphill climb and downward hike
meandering through flat and jagged lives

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