Robert Verdon, #329, that last pilgrimage

my stomach is a balled echidna
we may soon stand on the brink
as we near the end of this
slippery slate path switch-backing to an edge
gravity awry
russet bonnets of cold shadow on our heads
tongues cold leather, hard as an old-time bicycle satchel
barely whistling in the graveyard of our radical doubt
that we can escape yet again
tent-pegs in the rising night gale
clinker rowboats on taut fraying painters
specks of bio-dust soon to be lost in the cosmos
someone says we’ll look back at all this and laugh

live to go on pilgrimage on some far-off future star-led day
when maybe we will all be less religious
and never have to go at all
such blasphemy does not go down well
as if God might strike us flat when we are so close
shuffling to a fearful stop at a cliff with the moon below our feet
more like three stooges than the magi of old
our little cult no longer a suburban game
and there is nothing in the valley but the glint of a tin shed
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