Like Ants Beneath

Say you’re going up the mountain
and you’re just about up at the top
which is a good thing
because you’ve been climbing
for what feels like forty years and forty nights
and it’ll be great to reach the top of something
and be able to glance down
on a town full of normals
like ants beneath you
except for you looking ahead
and realizing
that instead of the end being in sight
you can’t see past the trees
in the forest
and the sky is covered up
by dense foliage ahead
and you have no real idea
how close you are
to the top of the mountain
at all.
Like, I mean,
at all.

So you wonder
if maybe the climb has been worth it
and maybe it’s time to chuck it
and go home.
Maybe, with a breath of air
and some sweet wind
blowing on your back
you’ll realize that it’s not worth sitting around
wondering how much higher you’re required to fly or rise to the summit.
You either go up
or you go down
but if you stay up at these heights indefinitely
eventually it’ll get cold
and dark
and you’ll be at the middle of the hill
alone at the middle of the night.

So you realize you have to decide to abandon the top of the mountain
or complete the quest
trekking onward.
It’s been a long day.
You want to stop
and you feel less bend in your left knee
than you would like
but you know that
weak as you feel now,
you will feel so much weaker,
slinking into your home at the end of the evening
having abandoned purpose
quitting the heights.

You know what you have to do.
Just take out the coin
catch its glint in the sunlight
toss it in the air
and await its tumultuous return to earth.
It will arrive eventually
and decide your fate
deciding, after all,
if you’re turning tail
or heading upward
finishing the mission
and climbing that motherfucking mountain after all.

About Jonathan Berger

I used to write quite a bit more.
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