Hiking Blind

By Brandon Swann

Feet on the ground, one after the other.

Forward momentum, steep angle ahead, elevation gain.

Familiar and free, this trail is accessible to people like me.

Finally, I see the peak!

Tired legs and feet tramp forward and upward,

Tenaciously trudging to the top.

“Tis a false peak!” A gulp. A sigh.

This fake summit does make a nice place to rest, however.

“Might as well!”

“Phweew! Steep climb!”

After a short rest,

Dedication drags my dry body back to it’s feet,

Dutifully dodging fragile plant-life in a feeble ecosystem.

Daylight is dim when I realize:

“I have made it! It will be a beautiful sunrise!”

I fall asleep- accomplished.

A dream.

Upon awakening, I see from the inside that my tent is covered in beads of rain drops and the wind has changed.

I put on my warm wool shelter to cover my skin as the glorious sun appears to disperse it’s rays and warmth across my accomplishment.

I pack up and begin to conquer other peaks,

But never considered the other side,

Which is now apparent as I want to continue on this path.

I never considered the other side.

The path eroded.

I am standing on a peak with nowhere to go.

I am buffeted by the elements.

I have created isolation for myself.

A path has eroded.

Time to pull out a map and compass.

There are only certain ways that are passable.

Maybe, I will meet a fellow traveler.

Maybe, someone else is clearing a new path.

But I can’t wait til then.

North bounders and South bounders cuss the mountain, alike.

For all the work that was done in building and preserving,

It is no longer viable for recreation or travel.

Only CEO’s, trail maintainers, scientists, and government officials may visit it now.

Restrictions of rights.


Here we are, years later.

A corporation bought the mountain,

“To preserve it.”

“They” will let “us” know when “we” can enjoy it.

One day, “they” will make a beautiful landscape for “us”.

But they never do

And there is no “us”.

There is no mountain to see,

Only one trail, on one side of it, but it depends on the side you came from.

©2021 GB Swann

I wrote this poem to be an allegory for Civil Rights and racial reconciliation in the United States.


Brandon Swann is a nontraditional student, hiker, and peace activist who writes the blog at www.dontwantyourcivilwar.com.