In the surreal shadows
     of North Elba's giant
            ski jumps,
      Old John Brown still lies
"a-moulderin' in his grave,"

as brash Olympians
           take flight,      
   the ancient farmstead
                     a vast, spinning century

fighting the dead weight
            of their own sinking hearts, suspecting    
from the first icy instant that
        his one-thousand
                   eight-hundred and
                                fifty-nine feat
               can never be equaled.

August 1995

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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