The Storm

That Rocky Mountain Sky was blue and clear as glacier ice
As the small pack train of hard-bit men climbed on
But packing on the great divide is much like rolling dice
You might or might not live to see the dawn

We all know that winter is the time to stay down low
But then the summer beckons you to leave
The weather’s warm as lodgepole pines sway gently to and fro
Don’t let your guard down lest your loved ones grieve

The highest country in the land is beautiful to see.
The air is clean, the view beyond compare.
The jagged peaks are Sirens and they call you endlessly.
But keep your wits about you when you’re there.

The small pack train of hard bit men knew what they were about.
No greenhorns there, good hardy men for sure.
Many trips up through the peaks had proved the boys were stout.
Their jaws were set, their mountain hearts beat pure.

But in those purple giants a man is just a pawn.
Standing nearly naked to the sky
No heavy pelts of fur for them, just jackets to put on.
No claws to grip the ice, no wings to fly.

It wasn’t lack of knowledge then that doomed that band of men.
It wasn’t foolish ignorance or pride.
Maybe for a second they were lost in thought just then.
Instead of looking up they looked inside.

And in an instant it all changed, sun disappeared from sight.
The wind began to moan and then it howled.
The lightning flashed, the clear day turned into a hellish night.
The hail screamed down and trees were disemboweled.

“Why it’s just a summer storm again”, the flatlanders would say
“Lets go inside where we’ll be nice and dry”
And in the storms teeth, seven men were caught that awful day
Not one of them expected he would die

But die they did, so quickly it might seem it was a dream.
The storm raged, then it passed within a breath.
From down below no cries were heard, not even one man’s scream.
But that summer storm had rolled in bearing death.

And in the weeks that followed although a search was made.
They only found one horse and just one mule.
“We’ll look again next year”, they said ,
“When a good plan has been made”.
And all the little children prayed in school.

Then life moved on for those in town. Things gradually got right.
For them those purple mountains held no lure.
They weren’t the type to risk a trip up to that dizzy height.
Those pack train men were different that’s for sure

Photo by Cinnamon Lucy aka Lucy Nelson © 2008