Alexi Pappas penned some prose inspired by a recent return to the mountains to run with her idols Desi Linden and Deena Kastor.

mountains
Credit: Andrew Kastor

When We Return

Nobody wonders
if the mountains will be there
when we return.

They’ll be there

waiting
seasonally decorated

wondering what new we
will bring with us

in the form of new friend,
or new haircut—

the mountains notice
and hear us when we say

they look grander than when we were last here
I wonder if they feel the same way

about us.