Johanna Ziegler

The View from My Hilltop

I have climbed my hill,
But I break before my mountain.

It is good to see what I have done.

There lies a valley below the hill, where villages of Me
—Passion and Sorrow, Success and Regret—
Are silhouetted in the yellow fire of 
                                                                     the sun-set-rise.

I was the Traveler through these clusters, collecting experiences
As mosaics to wear on my skin—colorful, glittering armor
With places to break. I behold 
                                                               my stained-glass body.

It is good to see what I have done.

Younger will stop here on the hilltop; only one of us needs to grow up.
But at the top of my mountain, she’ll take her hidden words
And paint them on my eyelids, 
                                                           sew them through my ears.

Older waits behind us. She warns of fooling faces in my mirror— 
“It lies, little one. So does that beating thing in your chest.
Find in your glass badges where 
                                                                    the gospel truths lie.”

It is good to see what I have done.

Others will join me. They’ll kiss me and hold me and call me their One.
But I cannot keep them from conquering their cliffs. We’ll reunite
In the skies, them and I, dancing and flying and                                                                                                                    
                                                                                               screaming, “We did it!”

“Do I make it, Older? Do I make it off my hilltop?”
“Perhaps…but there is time for us to rest.
Sit down with me—let’s watch 
                                                                  the sun-set-rise.”

The view from my hilltop—
It is my favorite.

It is good to see what I have done. 

Johanna Ziegler is a freshman at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota; she is pursuing an English-Creative Writing degree with honors. This is her first national publication. When not collecting eccentric notebooks and novelty stickers for her bookcase, Ziegler studies film and social media marketing and aspires to someday earn a Ph.D. in Creative Writing. That being said, she welcomes any and all plot twists along the way!

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