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Brothers Ascending a Peak

Updated on June 21, 2016
Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin, an experiened writer, enjoys creative writing in all forms, from literary to mainstream.


Midsummer: at the base of a mountain trail stand two men, the air lukewarm, sky blue, earth green, and somewhere amongst this vastness the meaning of life. Shade covers skin under the line, but the older of the brothers still sweats--too many nights spent home in a recliner taking shots of whiskey and pondering all questions to a fruitless, circular end.

Why am I here? To do what I do. Why do I do what I do? Because I am here.

The air grows thin, the trail winds on, and the youngest walks with ease, in long, fluid strides, trying not to become agitated with his wheezing sibling. A large clearing running up the mountainside becomes visible, death of the large trees that had grown there for perhaps centuries, the result of an avalanche during winter months, no longer limber as the small spruces that survived, demise a result of their turgid, uncompromising power.

Now it is the weak’s turn to see the light and grow, become wicked in it, and oppress the lesser until they too are reminded of something stronger.


The men go on further to where a tree has fallen dead over the trail. The youngest in his lead steps it over, a large, exaggerated step. The elder, depleted one misinterprets the size of the corpse, stumbling on the far side of the log, gashing his leg on one of its pointy nubbins—a remnant of a severed tree limb.

Why do I bleed? Because I am here. Why am I here? So I can bleed.

The trees began to cease all together. Haggard looking shrubs sporadically dot the mountainside. A sheet of ice can be seen farther up covering the summit, a dying reminder of winter in summer's warmth.

What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of life. What is what? What is the meaning of life. What is the meaning of life?

The youngest points to a furry, brown creature sunning itself on a rock. The elder can't see it. His stomach aches and the world swims around his head. He must lie down on the mossy ground, and from there he cannot see it either, cannot see the icy peak, only the confused entangled limbs of thorny bushes.



Which do you think is the best analogy for age?

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4 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of the poem.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 3 months ago from Oklahoma

      Bella: I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • profile image

      Bella Allred 4 months ago

      Very descriptive and grounding in an emotional experience. Well written!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 14 months ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 14 months ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      Nice poetic description of our interaction with nature.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 19 months ago from Oklahoma

      Say Yes: lol, a symbolic piece, if not entirely accurate, and in this case the older of the two has abused his body.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 19 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      Actually, older people handle high altitudes better, especially if they're past 40. I've found that to be the case with me.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 20 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      I am so happy that I am not disabled in any form, for I can see all the richness that nature has to offer. I suppose in this story, I transferred myself to the younger.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 20 months ago

      This was interesting, very descriptive writing.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 20 months ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for the feedback JG.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      Jack Shorebird 20 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Another brain bender. Keep it up.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 20 months ago from Oklahoma

      Alicia: I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 20 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love this, Larry. It's rich with meaning. I'm still absorbing it all. The pictures fit the theme perfectly.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 20 months ago from Oklahoma

      Thank you Siddharth.

    • profile image

      Siddharth Kapoor 20 months ago

      I like reading it too.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 20 months ago from Oklahoma

      Jodah: I appreciate the feedback.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 20 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Very thought provoking, Larry. I liked it.