Halfway up the mountain trail

[Day 18 of the 31 Days of Poetry]

Halfway up the mountain trail,
Bent over at the waist,
Trying to catch my breath.
You look impatient and annoyed,
Not bothering to hide contempt.
You know little about life,
And even less about me, 
But that does not matter
When only one of us
Has the energy to speak.
"Are you coming?" you ask,
Bouncing lightly on your toes. 
It's all I can do
To stand back up straight.
My side is on fire.
My breaths are tortured gasps. 
I want to keep up,
But know how this ends.
"You go on without me."

I'm more and more convinced that the sounds of words and how they fit together are even more important than the words' meanings, especially in poetry.  Counter-intuitively, then, I decided to try to write something with five words in each line, which is arbitrary and ignores rhythm, the foundation of poetry. It was just an experiment, to see if there was something to it. It worked okay, surprising me. Without any effort I found that I could "think" in these five word lines, with only one exception. It may seem like I split up the sentences to achieve that effect, but imagine them being voiced by the narrator. He has no breath, so even his inner thoughts are truncated. If you imagine the end of each line as him taking a huge breath, I think it will make more sense. (And in case you were wondering, I had to take the word "I" out of the second-to-last line to keep it consistent. Everything else came out right without counting words.)

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