Saturday, March 16, 2019

Sheep Passing by W. S. Merwin

Sheep Passing
Mayflies hover through the long evening
of their light and in the winding lane
the stream of sheep runs among the shadows calling
the old throats gargling again uphill
along known places once more and from the bells
borne by their predecessors the notes
dull as wood clonk to the flutter of all
the small hooves over the worn stone
with the voices of the lambs rising through them
over and over telling and asking
their only question into the day they have
none will know midsummer the walls of the lane
are older than anyone can understand
and the lane must have been a path a long time
before the first stones were raised from the river
up through the trees for an age before that
one hoof one paw one foot before another
the way they went is all that is still there.

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