• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 12
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Weight of Farewell

The gate is open.
It has always been open, unlatched
so travelers can come and go
and know that their passing
is welcomed, even expected.

The grass greets the tread
of many a foot, a boot, a sandal
and where many steps have passed
the grass bends and folds
in retreat
to mark the trail
and green-grace the path
that such common traffic winnows
in the natural way
of things that bow to fate.

The weight of passage
stamps the earth, etches
hillocks, threshes
forest floors, leaving
among the nettle, leaf
and moss a record
of farewells
that cannot
be weighed
by the greengrocer
or the judge’s scale.

Each farewell owes
its story to an open gate.