Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Evening Road

Evening Road


An evening drive. The road to Kent.
We wondered where the summer went.


Beside a rural house we saw
A weathered stump. Beside,
A youthful tree—of several years—
That surely was allied—

Or kin—to what had lived before.
The parent tree was proud,
I’m sure, how straight the youngster rose.
With sturdy strength endowed.

But—nearer to the road—a stump
Much fresher. Not as yet
Rose any sapling, any kin,
To make the world forget

The glory of the parent tree.
And so it goes on earth:
The elders die, perhaps replaced—
Or maybe not—by birth.


The two alpacas danced across
The twilight pasture there,
A mother and her weanling that
Seemed sans a single care.

What do they know? Just food and sex
And sleep and shear. And men,
Who seem in charge of everything—
What is and what has been.


The dog—a young one—by the road
Seemed paused to make a dash
Across the road in front of us.
I braced—a certain crash.

But then he paused.  And changed his mind,
And we flowed quickly by,
Relieved in heart that this was not
The evening he would die.


By dark we were back home again
And understood where we had been:
In fading evening light sublime
We’d driven near the cliff of time.

Our friendly game of mumblety-peg
Soon ended with a knife-in-my-leg.

Shakespeare Couplet: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (43)

Then Bottom says that “man is but an ass.”
He leaves, his fragile dream like thinnest glass. (4.1)

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