On the Ski Lift

Our setting is a ski lift.
It doesn’t matter exactly
when or where, which mountain,
because we all understand
the chair lift as a machine
that carries us upward, onward
like the metaphor we ride
to the end of the poem
with Billy Collins or Billy Kidd,
Ingemar Stenmark or Ingmar Bergman,
Jean Paul Sartre or Jean Claude Killy.
I was once a lift operator
so I still check the bolts
and hear every squeaky shiv assembly
like a poet alert to every fraying strand
on those braided steel cables of words
strung taut as trip wire
across the sky’s blank page.
It’s a windy one-way trip
up the mountain, tower to tower
until we reach the top,
tips up, rise onto our skis
sliding into uncertain terrain.

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About Ray Sharp

Father, poet, triathlete, local public health planner
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4 Responses to On the Ski Lift

  1. Love the metaphor. The flow of well-chosen words really moves this poem to philosophical ending.

  2. warmginger says:

    A wonderful start to the year, thank you and happy 2014. 🙂

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