Hill Fifty
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Step up to the hilltop
take in the view

Look! There in the distance!
the places you played
as a child, where your journey’s
foundations were laid

And there is the path
which led you from home
Growing as you went
coming out on your own

And there in the foothills
where I joined you to walk
The soft, easy road
then the rocks, then the fork

Step up to the hilltop
look back where you’ve risen
Savour the taste
and indulge in the vision

Climb with your eyes
up the hill as it rises
Past achievements and landmarks
and pitfalls and prizes

Some slopes are gentle
and meadowed with mirth
Some saw you plant
and bring forth from the earth

Then there’s tougher terrain
that you had to wade through
When you carried others
or they carried you

Step up to the hilltop
You’ve been climbing so long
And we all need a rest
no matter how strong

Step up to the hilltop
Turn around.
Look at the other side -
the view’s even better that way.

I don’t mean that you’re past your peak
or that it’s all downhill from here.
Or if it is, then
It’s only downhill in the sense of
freewheeling
feet up, squealing
Enjoying the ride

Old enough to know what you want
Still young enough to get it

Step up to Hill Fifty
Come take in some more
Step up to Hill Fifty
The view’s bloody awesome

 

This poem was written for a dear friend's 50th birthday.