Scafell Pike was a few miles distant.
But this was England’s highest point.
“A molehill!” he said, while we sat
laughing at each other from our tatty
old sleeping bags.
You should have met my Swedish
friend, a cabinet maker
resident somewhere in Switzerland,
accustomed to real
mountains and the exuberant air.
We got on like the proverbial house,
cooling it down with his wit, my
natural reserve, but we had
Abba and Borg and now the Buddha
in common – what was there not to like?
“But who is this Borg?” he said.
“Didn’t you know? Back home we say ‘Bory’.”
Really? Well I thought that wouldn’t do, shocked
out of my anglo-centric world.
But I trusted my sudden blond friend,
this infectious alpine Swede.
“And watch out for the snails!” he said, leading
us to the huge white tent.
Yes, weren’t they lives, too? just
not with our potential
to love and to care – though how often do we choose?
“Maybe on a clear day?” I said, pausing
by the entrance, pointing towards
where Scafell Pike might be.
He laughed. “Not in a billion years!” he said,
with his arresting smile
© copyright David F. Barker 2012