This Is How a Mountain Dies

by Marshall Gillson

Mountains are not like volcanoes;
there is no magnificence
as their rocks crumble apart,
no firework font, no spray.

They do not throw tantrums
or pound the earth with heavy fists,
roaring out their throes.
You will not even notice them go.

Mountains disappear while we wait
for an avalanche to sweep them off,
the final grand explosion ringing out
in grief like a whale song.

This is how a mountain dies:
one embarrassed handful of pebbles
at a time, slow and cautious,
until it lies flat on the ground.

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