It started with two smiles.
Backpacks zipped with metal clasps glistening
in the crisp winter air;
frosted fragrance on hard studded tires.

With roadmaps in hand,
their eyes were aimed at peaks of ivory,
stretching in glimmering pride above the snowy pines.
A western birdsong hummed
promises of spring; unheard
over squealing rubber.

With built-Ford-tough attitude,
adorned by a shimmering crown of skis,
the sputtering pickup kicked sand
at the roots of emerald firs.
Diesel and the nutty scent of bark
mixed in a fleeting dance until
the moment ceased—sudden and
silent.

They promised themselves an eternity
on the ice-capped mountains;
away from history; far from their past,
carving their paths through ice and grit, singing
of futures yet unseen.

Their house was just a dot now;
a lonely sequin in the snow.
At this they both looked back now
at weeping firs, frigid stillness,
the branches snapping so long ago.

But no, regret was a summit reached so
many times before.
They tore the pages of the roadmap as
the peaks began to grow.

As tires squealed along their frosted unmarked path,
they dreamt the icy peaks would cut the world in two.
One half—their younger selves, warm with sweat and tears,
and the other, uncarved opportunities
glistening like dew.

Heavy-treaded rubber slashed the wet slush
from the due-east crystal spiral, pockmarked
by yields, stops and cautions; but these dreamers
could not stop ascending, rising to
destiny like vultures; flying
high;  living in the present, kicking their past
with flowing wings; dreaming their way forward.

They soared a billion feet above the world,
so cold that time itself froze at the summit;
the air was now thinner than dusty snow.
They rose with grace on their gold, dreamlike wings
across the now-unmarked roads. Yields and stops
were red insects, crawling the Earth below.

Their beaming eyes, set on the ice-capped peaks above,
couldn’t see the cliff upon them that approached.
As Ford-tough tires chewed up icy foxglove;
their wings, like Icarus, melted down the slopes.
Songbirds joined with their crumpled metal score;
the last sound was a tune all dreamers have heard before;
something of a laugh, something of a cry;
but for now, nothing more.

Singing, then silence.
Singing, then silence.
Singing, then silence.
All that lives, must go.

It seemed like yesterday,
but it was so long ago.

a broken ski sparkled in the warming westward breeze,
as silence once again returned to the sparkling valleys.
The snow-capped peaks searched the valleys down below,
for songbirds singing tunes unheard
across the heavy, melting roads. Now
the dreamers who burned brightly long before;
their laughs echoed with the springtime birdsongs;
rebirthed as saplings on the forest floor.

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Andrew Hunter: Often, I think about the world around me, but forget to write most of the good thoughts down. Career-wise, I’m a public relations professional. In my personal life, I’m a dreamer, optimist, artist and chronic over-thinker who lives happily with my wife and our four cats. Find me on Twitter, Instagram or my website.

image: pxhere