Day's End

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Day's End


Catching Up


Near the end of a bike ride in the river valley, I approach the steep hill that I've come to hate. As I puff my way up, an image of a gray-bearded man comes to mind. We met 30 years ago at the trailhead for the climb to the summit of Mt. Whitney.

"Going up?" I had asked him.

"Not for me anymore," he replied.

I peddle up at a slow, grudging pace thinking that one day I'll be him. I shoulder check and see a young gold-and-red-spandex guy coming up behind me. Determined not to let him overtake me and I turn on as much speed as I can muster. At the top, he gives me a satisfying thumbs up, satisfying, not because he acknowledged my victory, but because he was also breathing hard.

sunny morning
beardless after
a close shave


R. Rasmussen, Haibun Today, 4:1, March 2010.