Scrambling, The Quiraing

by Mantz Yorke
There’s not really a path now, just dry gullies braiding
the scree.  We scrabble up, foot by foot, sometimes gaining
grip on half-buried stone, sometimes slipping and tumbling
rubble to the declivity below.  The breeze, squeezed

between aiguille and wall, has become a gale buffeting her
preparedness to reach the Table – that shinty-pitch crowded
by pinnacles and Meall na Suiramach.  Weary, she rests
in a calm that’s corralled by rampart and upswooping wind
while I scramble on up the steep defile.  Rain’s ambuscade

gives me pause: the forecast drenching, or mere harbinger?
Turn back with the waterproof gear?  Difficult, descending,
zigzagging hesitantly across the stony chute, anticipating
all the while a sudden slide, a rattle of stones, oblivion.
Mantz Yorke lives in Manchester, England.  His poems have appeared in Butcher’s Dog, Dactyl, Dawntreader, Lunar Poetry, Popshot, Prole, Revival, The Brain of Forgetting and The Stony Thursday Book magazines; and, in e-magazines and anthologies in the UK, Ireland and the United States.

© 2016, Mantz Yorke