I scramble over rocks and boulders heaved up by giants’ glacier breath through spruce and fragrant fern glimpsing ripples on the hourglass lake below New metal joints gave me a promise sealed in blood and grinding bones I’m holding them to it Panting, sweating pulling on iron hand holds Working my way through rockfalls Daring to test my newfound mettle The limestone cliff faces are impassive I break through the tree line of pine and blueberry scrub Step out onto an ice age island of stone floating among the high peaks Suddenly weightless, I too am floating Barely tethered by titanium Balancing on the edge Above me a bronze feathered hawk rises on thermal currents and promises Elizabeth Fletcher Poems by Elizabeth Fletcher have appeared in Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Book of Matches, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Schuylkill Valley Journal, The Dillydoun Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Ariel Chart, Orchard Hill, and Spaceports & Spidersilk. She was nominated in 2023 for the Rhysling award in the long poem category and in 2021 for a Pushcart prize in 2021. Her Philadelphia Inquirer publications include essays on Snowy owls and sea turtles. She has a BA in English from Hamilton College and an MS in Technical Writing from Drexel University. She is currently working on a middle grade fantasy/adventure novel about the friendship of a young girl and a dragon.