“The Iron Mountain song”
The Iron Mountain song
I have finished my journey and I drove to Iron Mountain. Been 30 years since I saw her face and I needed to talk to her one more time, my love, my beautiful Kathy. The shadows of her kind face had been haunting me since the last time I saw her. She told me once in the Winter of 1986. “Damn war don’t need you, damn money become just paper when you die alone and my love, you will miss me.”
I’m dying and I needed her, my Iron Mountain dream. My conquests seem so small as I rested by my Ojibwa Land. My 180 acres of free land is like me. Wild and untamed. I wondered. Is the traveling man cruelest lesson learn is, the malice of hiding true face and need, is living and dying alone.
I went to the Iron Mountain tavern. I had send her a Facebook message.
I wished I worked less, loved more.
Escaped less, held on tighter.
Never ran from your embrace.
I will see you at the Tavern tonight if your will.
Old Poet last wish to see your face and hear your voice.”
I received no answer.
I sat drinking a tap beer and caressing a double shot of whiskey. I hear my phone whispering and I have a message.
Dear Kathy wrote back. “Been a long time wandering soldier. I’m alone too. Poor decisions led to Ironwood. I’m coming to you, I will see you at 9 pm in Iron Mountain. Missed and I love you my dear friend.”
I wrote down in my journal.
“The cruelest lesson is learned too late.
The emptiness of a traveling man is learning,
great conquests become worthless when you are dying alone.
I see shadows of her beautiful face and
I remember how she watched the bears at the dump.
I remember how we tubed the Wisconsin river and
I remember kissing her bare shoulders.
Making promises that could not be kept.
Relique of things in the lost and found,
leave us feeling empty and alone.”
At 9 pm exact. Kathy walked in alone and she saw me. She ran to me and kissed my face many times and she embraced me tightly. She asked. “Where you been Johnnie. I never forgot you. You were my only kindness I have known. Are you okay dear Johnnie?”
I looked at her. Same beautiful face and perfect smile. Her hazel eyes still shone like the stars on a clear night. I told her, I had no place to go. I made a foolish wish for a perfect memory. I wanted to see and talk to you one more time. I’m okay. It is time to live and it is time to die. This moment is perfect. I held her tightly and we talked and drank till the tavern closed down.
We went to my hotel with a six pack of beer and we laid on the hotel bed together talking of good and bad days. She told me. I’m doing well. Big house in the woods. A lot of privacy from people and problems. My job is going well. You told me to go to school. Don’t allow a man to pay my bills. I did and I’m thankful.
I asked her did you receive my letters? Our last call from Africa. You told me. Can’t wait no-more for you. Please be careful. One day you will need me. Is life destiny or do we write our own story my love?
Kathy put her face into my chest and with tears in her eyes whispered. “We are here. I’m free and you are safe my wandering man. I believe lover’s ghost cannot be forgotten and you haunted me daily for 30 years. Destiny or not. Two foolish found deserved ending.”
Kathy took me to Ironwood and I looked out the window. The sky was so beautiful and the vast forest stole my heart gain. I reached over and I held her hand.