​​​Nan Little

​​If I Can Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Why Can't I Brush My Teeth?

Courage, Tenacity and Love Meet Parkinson's Disease

Climbing Kilimanjaro

 

Lungs, like boots scuffed raw,

   heave against the frozen stillness of thin midnight air.

Legs, resurrected walking sticks,

   lumber with each heavy step, stumble on pumice pebbles.

Heart, a frozen glove,

   pounds wild echoes in the dead black between the stars.

Eyes, tired headlamps,

   ache for the morning light to detail the stone-cold summit.    

 

Long hours, more than a night should hold,

    drag the constellations across the universe to their day stations.

 

Above … the equatorial ice cap of Africa,

   Kibo, the mother of clouds.

Below … the teeming savannahs of Africa,

   heartbeats in baboon skins.

 

Up and out and everywhere else beyond,

   the golden curve of the earth,

   the scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird,

   the purple green of the Indian Ocean.

 

Turning on top, my entire body becomes a grateful eye.

   I could take the rest of my life to know this silence.

 

 

By: Cris Miller