On Mynydd Troed

by Nicholas Dykes

For my friends at the Bronllys Pain Management Centre

On Mynydd Troed — Mount Foot —
I overcame an enemy inside me, pain.
I climbed the smooth old path alone, on foot,
But in such agony of doubt that at the final crest
I stopped amazed; breath rasping, legs trembling, dazed,
My heart almost bursting from my chest.
Then I looked back down the greening slope
And felt the soaring joy of answered hope:
I was standing on a mountain top again.

On Mynydd Troed I raised my staff and hand
Like an ancient traveller, a seer,
Arrived at the gateway to his promised land.
The grey clouds broke, as if a sea had parted;
Bright shafts of light dispelled all shred of fear,
And deep within the laughter started
As I let the eternal note of gladness in.

On Mynydd Troed the wind was sweet
As I gazed at the quilt of fields and farms
That wrapped and warmed the mountain's feet —
A supple, singing breeze which kissed the harms
That I had suffered from my brow and face.
Its soft caress soothed off every trace
Of pain, of anger, of sadness and of sorrow
And sang to me of an endless morrow;
While on my lined and stubbled cheeks it etched anew
The childlike lineaments of bliss.