It’s all right. I will tell no one.
I’ll just take a few photographs,
then I’ll be gone.
Never thought I’d find you, but I did.
You never left a mark, you never hid.
Now there you are,
with some of your tribe, it seems.
How could I describe
what rarely flickers forth in dreams?
Sat protectively, outside your cave,
more like tall, thin apes
with rough skin scraggy with black hairs
than bears you look.
I can tell you have no language,
only seldom muttered sounds,
no link to hang a hook,
as you gaze out over the snow silenced,
Himalayan roof.
I had to come, I had to try to find you.
Never expected I would find proof.
Thank you for being, remaining still,
for the beauty of the sight,
you were worth my frozen tongue,
the threat of fall and frost bite.
They only ever speak of the yeti,
as if there was only ever one,
the last remnant of a race, perhaps,
that long ago has gone.
But there you sit, behind you,
members of more than one family.
You are obviously the head, the chief.
The others look guarded by you,
you they trust, in you they have belief.
A few stump up, turn back, lower their heads,
retreat into the black blanket
of the low roofed cave mouth.
You stay with the others, alert.
Your eyes look one way,
yet see north, west, east, south.
No one would believe these photographs I take.
They would inspire only sneers, laughs.
They would say they are fake.
They would say they are of human actors in ape coats,
photographed in winter in the mountains, somewhere.
It does not matter. I do not care.
I would not want them to believe they are genuine.
I do not want them to find you.
There. I’ve taken my last photograph.
When they think of you,
I prefer that they keep saying: What if?
I will go now, head back down the mountain,
and leave you to remain a myth.


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