My dear daughter died this week. She was many joys to me, but one of the best was as my climbing buddy over the years.
ELEANOR MAIR 1971 – 2020
Excuse me saying you were competitive
When climbing mountains with me. Young
And fit from heavy backpacks you would drive
Robustly upwards past me if my lungs
Faltered. I’d catch you when you lit a fag.
It wasn’t just physical: you’d sussed the route
So accurately from the map you’d brag
You knew each twist and turn; and any doubt
Of mine was squashed, even if it was right.
Yet awed by space we could be quiet together.
Now huddled in this bed you’re mute and still
Without your mind’s protest or body’s fight;
But with what a delicate wee puff of breath
You overtake me on the final hill.