They always start with quick and eager strides
--Even the one on crutches--up the hill.
The long-legged and the young soon reach the bend,
Then reappear above the heads of slower
Earnest pilgrims puffing up the slope.
Those at the parapet stand, statuesque,
Their tiny silhouettes nicking the sky.
See, some now descend the winding trail--
The young, the tall step out, no longer black
And dwarfed against the vast and cloudless light,
Their blouses khaki, red, and white. In single
File, like beads on a string we cannot see,
They reach the stairway to the parking lot,
Then break apart toward different destinations.
Scattered now, does each still hoard some sense
Of borrowed grace from a purpose briefly snatched
And shared beneath the sky, whatever it was?
|From Darkening Water by Daniel Hoffman. Copyright © 2002 by Daniel Hoffman. Reproduced with the permission of Louisiana State University Press. All rights reserved.|