Visiting Mountains, by Ted Kooser

Nepal Annapurna Base Camp

Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal.


Visiting Mountains


The plains ignore us,

but these mountains listen,

an audience of thousands

holding its breath

in each rock. Climbing,

we pick our way

over skulls of small talk.

On the prairies below us,

the grass leans this way and that

in discussion;

words fly away like corn shucks

over fields.

Here, lost in a mountains

attention, there’s nothing to say.


poem by Ted Kooser

Grand Teton National Park Wyoming

Paintbrush Divide, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

getting ready for outside work_1

I love this poem for many reasons, but today it reminds me especially of my father.

It doesn’t matter who else ignores me, because I always know that you’ll listen.

It doesn’t matter if we have anything to say, because we don’t really need words.

Thanks for showing me why it’s important to get lost in the mountains.

Thanks for teaching me how to climb the mountains I come across, and how to decide which ones are worth climbing.

Thanks for being my mountain, Dad. I love you.

Dad and me in the Tetons

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