Fifty summers old today, wanting fifty more,

I look down from a gondola in the Rockies,

a tourist riding up a dusty ski run in the middle of July,

no longer able to boast I have no fear of dying,

still wanting more thrill than earth can yield,

still willing to dare more than mountains


At my half century, the whole world winds

between bald peaks:

below me spreads a land barren

of Indian tribes and buffalo,

forgotten graves of Spanish invaders,

ruts of wagon trains, abandoned mine shacks;

above me, ideas soon to outdate mine


Now that I’ve gained the Western Slope,

each day will be an arrowhead found,

a doubloon shining behind a stone;

no longer a look uphill but a view

beyond the great divide