at Place Fell

Footsteps of beasts, heavy and light, of birds
paused at the beck; and children hooting, playing,
and steadier human animals of the hills;
footsteps, too, of the sun as it lights on a home
for all things moving and for all things breathing . . .
high on a hill swept bare of all Earth’s creatures,
I am one with the racing wind. They come to meet me
here on my birthday, in a quick fold of Time,
a cavalcade from the past. Footsteps of leaves,
treading the air, stay with me; footsteps of clouds
tender me greetings. Who would have thought, a moment
such as this, for an old man’s celebration?
Is there a way to offer thanks? My footsteps
seek it, in the swift open . . . till at the last
they will greet others out on a hill alone.

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