Pounsikou by Jessica Choo Kuiin Yiih
it started; as most things do;
with an item on a list – #5 climb mount kinabalu
which led me to today;
wriggling my toes in my
slightly loose adidas kampung-s,
knees shaking, heart thumping,
but eyes; sparkling.
30 minutes in left me wondering why,
why did i ever think i could do this?
but just as i was about to stop,
it started to drizzle,
& the world went quiet.
i was hiking, underwater it seemed.
over mossy rocks & muddy puddles,
through swaying seaweed branches,
till i rose above marshmallow clouds,
tinted pink by the setting sun.
a quick prayer for good weather before crashing to bed;
then suddenly it was 2 a.m hot Milo,
fried noodles & French toast,
a double knot to my shoe laces,
& up into the midnight sky,
hands shivering, teeth chattering,
but eyes; still sparkling.
one step, pause, repeat.
two steps, pause, repeat.
three steps, pause – you get it.
the stars must have giggled
looking down at this silly girl
crawling up the rocky surface,
gripping the ropes as if her life
depended on it – & so it did.
for a moment there it seemed,
as though i would never make it.
this is where you fail. full stop.
just as the sun broke through the clouds
my feet took that final, heavy step &
every little worry i had ever had,
were blown away by the wind
to where they would never touch me again.
after; as i made my way down like a crab,
i thought about how people always say that
it’s not the mountain we conquer; but ourselves.
truth is; i never thought of it as conquering,
the only thought i had was thank you –
for allowing me to be here,
for showing me all this beauty,
for letting me see that all it takes is
a step; at a time.
pounsikou; aki nabalu; pounsikou.