Our precious daughter died Tuesday last, after years of illness related to an addiction. In spite of it she was a strong, outdoor person, devoted to the landscape and its creatures. She was my climbing buddy for many years.
Against the odds, my wife, Janet, and myself were allowed by the hospital to be with her for the last thirty minutes of her life. I intend to write more about her, but today I am simply placing on this page, a poem I have written and a photo.
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.