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Hiking Granddad’s Bluff

This author is a recipient

of the Sigma Tau Delta Award

Sigma Tau Delta Awarde

Erica Eastland

is tired & trying. She is a 2020 alumni of St. Ambrose University and is still displaced by overwhelming uncertainty.


I am a person 

and I struggle 

with habits; 

getting things done 

is sometimes 

like climbing 

a hill 

by which I mean 

it’s something I do not do 



when I feel really good 

and have a moment 

of mania 

I climb hills for fun 

I climb hills and listen 

to podcasts 

about murder and violence 

and kidnapping 

I climb hills and do the twist 

to indie funk music 

I climb hills out of breath 


I climb hills and 

I can’t slow down 

my heart 


my leg 


my knees 


my knees sweating! 

I climb hills walking 

backwards because 

I hear it’s easier  

I hear it’s better for strength 

training your legs 

my legs need strength training

my endurance needs discipline

I climb hills alone 

I climb hills 

with a walking stick 

someone else placed 

on the path 

I climb hills with flat feet 

and worn out Vans and no support 


I climb with no support 

sometimes I climb 

with support 

for I find this helps 

distract me 

from the noise in 

the air heightening 

each of my five 

senses ready 

for fight or flight 

in the way that I've been conditioned  

mostly I climb 

the end in sight

I miss out 

on the joy 

of climbing; instead 

the rocks remain dull 

and jagged 

against each of my steps

I am still climbing

I am still learning

trees tumble and 

flowers fade without a glance

the sun shines 

life into the earth 

and I do not see it 

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