Cliff

I came to journey’s end,
Well-marked, and signed
By those who’d passed
This way before.

It seemed the rambling path
Now climbed, had stopped.
My eyes perceived
The limit reached.

Beyond the road was sky
Set o’er the cliff’s,
Sheer rocky heights
And dizzy drop.

Now what was I to do?
Go back? Sit down?
Explore the bluffs?
Enjoy the view?

Another traveler approached.
He wiped his brow,
Then took a drink,
And talked with me.

He had their trip well planned.
But life had served
A cruel dish.
Alone he walked.

As wanderers will do,
I smiled when heard
Him say goodbye.
He went his way.

Then, as I turned to go
A dog charged past.
He barreled headlong
T’wards the edge.

What he was chasing then,
Who knows? As thought
Abandoned me
For action swift.

I grasped and clutched at
Nothing, air,
At flying fur,
No collar there.

Somehow I grabbed his paw.
“We’ve stopped!”, I thought.
“Thank God!” But no!
And down we plunged.

“This really is the end.”
I cried, as we
Heels over heads,
Rolled down, fell hard.

This human, canine tumbleweed
Had come to rest
On jutting ledge,
Not up, nor down.

Having shaken off the drop
The mutt dashed off,
Came back, and barked
To follow him.

“That dog will be my death.”
I said, then heard
A voice cry out
From up above.

“We’ll pull you up, no fear!”
To safety sure,
A length of rope
Was lowered down.

I took the hemp, and made
To fasten it
About my waist,
Then felt a tug.

Lips curled back and teeth exposed,
Insistent dog
On dangling rope
Had clamped his jaws.

I looked down prepared to shake
This crying pup
From off my line,
But stopped surprised.

A new perspective showed
From where I stood,
An outline faint,
A downward path.

Even further down below,
Little known, and
Less explored,
A hidden shore.

As in a dream, I left
My unseen saviour’s
Hands of help
To walk with dog.

Though down, the way is rough.
Careful steps on
Granite steep we
Make our way.

Journey’s end has become
Adventure new.
And all because
I reached for you.

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