by Gary Hardaway

Some days, the sides of the pit
slope away and you can climb
high enough to see a glimpse
of the land around it,
the oaks and elms, the ivy
circling the trunks, the path,
half in shade and half in sun,
before fatigue of the climb
sends you sliding down again.

Today, the sides of the pit
slope toward you
and there is no climbing up
to any height, and the sun
is cloaked by cloud,
and memory of glimpses
of the land beyond the stony rim
seems less memory than taunting
recollection of a dream.