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It was the mountains: each step closer,
past stone gardens, the old cemeteries,
untamed trees as the hill to home became
more steep. It was the mountains: green
and insistent in a setting sun, cracked open
by stubborn streams and unclear paths.

How I wanted to fall into them,
the mountains, to stay in their hard
embrace, to become part of them,
my heart learning to live with a dull burn
as I turned down the small road
to my house and waited minutes
to go inside with the sun setting firmly.
I have learned why: the mountains
will speak to me again in the morning
as surely as children play. The mountains
will invite me back to dreams only I know,
telling me I can stay.

— By Rüdiger Rückmann
Written on 23 February 2017