The Fall

An unrelenting wind
blustered and bubbled
under our skins.
“The kind that grinds
and frays your nerves,”
you’d wryly smiled

as we hiked up some scree
an uneasy feeling ran down
my spine, just before
I caught your cry
rolling downhill, head over heels,
like a rag doll.

My stomach flipped
as I careened to find
one leg wrapped around
a rock, strained lines,
whitened lips, wildly staring
eyes – a trapped doe.

I freed your limb,
made a splint, inwardly
begged to take
your pain, leaving you there with water and makeshift shade.

Stretched braided bonds,
twanged taut heartstrings.
“Don’t be long!” you’d called
between clenched teeth.
While I sought help,
you faced yourself.

Years on, fetching radishes
and lettuce from our garden bed,
you limp and halt.
Without warning, your swirling
eyes and deepest windswept
smile burst out.

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