Ascent – Ross Thompson


Following years of taking deadly risks
and defying all the laws of physics,

it was, I regret, inevitable
that when a childhood friend finally fell

like a nest from its cradling parent branch,
this act of momentum would be his last:

gliding down past clouds the colour of salt
and the safety of outcrops of flat rock.

So I invert the image downside up
and it can no longer hurt quite as much:

his inhaled gasp, the dwindling avalanche
retreating back from the point of impact,

his silhouette now suspended in time,
the snow rising through a merciful sky.

Ross Thompson is a writer and Arts Council award recipient from Bangor, Northern Ireland. His debut poetry collection Threading The Light is published by Dedalus Press. His work has appeared on television and radio, and in a wide range of publications. Most recently, he wrote and curated A Silent War, a collaborative audio response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has been adapted into a series of archival and educational films. He is currently preparing a second full-length book of poems. 

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