We were hiking above the tree line,
so green in life and love,
when a storm moved quickly in
making us easy targets
for lightning pulsing behind
low clouds gun metal gray.
The first drops seemed to wake us
from our manufactured calm
and we began hurrying down the trail,
scree and stone growing slick
from unchecked rain that filled our eyes:
the world appeared through aquarium glass.
The boom of thunder — I cursed
the metal frame of my pack —
and we began to run, full on panic
down that peak, sliding through
over ruts like jackrabbits,
caroming against each other,
finding a rhythm, covering ground,
we began laughing at our unease,
when back beneath the canopy of trees,
we slowed to a brisk walk, hearts pumping,
breath in our ears.
We heard the strikes behind us,
we felt the air compress.
Your hair was matted to your face.
Your lips were wet, I remember.