Kate Peper

View from the Jungfraujoch Railway Café

She lights another
and orders a second kaffee crème
because she’s on holiday.

Outside, blond children flock
to viewfinders, zoom in
on the Eiger and the body

swinging like an uneven pendulum,
metal clips glinting on his pack
as he knocks and knocks against the rock.

Maybe they’ll bring him down
in summer, says the waiter,
when the winds aren’t so bad.

The woman stubs out her cigarette,
walks outside and stops
next to the kids.

She thinks about the moment
his frostbitten fingers let go,
his body plunging unseen,

his shout unheard by tourists
sipping coffee, the Bernese Alps
a furnace of gold in the afternoon sun.