Tonia (by Carolyn O’Connell)

You came into my life with a gentle touch
extending friendship to a stranger, supporting
me in a sable winter of new exploration;
you were inspiring, kind as an open snowdrop.

We planned adventures, as we became close,
expeditions with others to discover untried places
and new people who would let our voices ring.

We could talk, understand, for we walked the same paths,
you lent me a supportive arm on this unknown track
but you were further on the route.

No one knew that you had reached the Pike,
would step over in the darkness of the night.

I’ll hear your laugh, pace and words
stirring as I follow the trail alone,
with those who cherished you until
I reach that peak, step over
and know that unknown you.

 

Carolyn O’Connell

* Note: In this poem, the use of Pike refers to the Rivington Pike, one of the summits of Winter Hill marked by an ancient tower, and I imagine her spirit waiting for us beyond the climb and summit.

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