Economically, it was a difficult time
women itched in woollen scarves
men stamped their frosted minds
a cruel wind blew till their steaming chips were down.
Socially, it was a treacherous climb
He clung to the frozen earth with hooked toes
pebbles snapping like dragons’ teeth
stressed grass grazing his aching knees.
Astrologically, he read the perfect sign
and chose this day to set his sight
at the hill above vast unmolested sea.
At the summit
he would put down his heavy pack
lean his broad back against a small patch of undamaged sky
and watch history unfold.