TREK

Got ourselves some underwear,

A thermal vest-and-long-john pair,

Some polar fleece to go on top,

Stuff to use when blisters pop,

Goretex coats to stop the rain,

Then carefully read the list again –

Hiking boots of heavy hide,

(A thousand pairs of them we tried)

But don’t forget to seal with wax

In case of avalanche attacks.

So thus prepared for Milford Track

Of many miles (no turning back!)

We faced the thoughts of jelly knees

And altitude-acquired disease,

We trudged up the McKinnon heights

Undaunted by the sandfly bites,

Then skidded down the other side,

Not knowing then what that implied

Was that we really did descend

Three hundred storeys, top to end?

Our layers off and layers on

Depended on the sun that shone.

Our sore and somewhat blistered feet

Repaired inside our sleeping sheet.

So early morn, when keas stirred

The evening’s anguish somehow blurred,

We smiling faced another day,

Recalling that, for fun, you pay!

With fifteen women from Japan,

The three-time trekker, namely Ann,

The honeymooners from New York

And others who enjoy a walk.

Intriguing that the hand of fate

Could place us all, upon this date,

With common purpose – just to see

If forty’s good as twenty’s knee!

1992

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