Atop the ridge I sit and overlook
The valley floor. Amidst the sprawling fields
Of green and yellow grass, among the groves
Of spruce and Douglas fir, within the bounds
Of earthen mounds that reach toward the sky,
There lies a gray expanse of artifice.
In youth I hardly saw the winding road,
When, tearing up the ridge with reckless zeal,
I’d tear and pull and slash the forest growth.
I felt a need to make my presence known,
And show that nature’s might was less than mine.
In later years, the childish fears had left,
And moving slowly through the steadfast wood,
I apperceived a long-forgotten light
That reached beyond the trees and lofty peaks,
And shone on me as well as on the road.
Returning as a man, the road became
A stark, disturbing contrast to the world
Surrounding it. It seemed to me a scar—
The remnant of a deep and painful wound
Inflicted by ungrateful progeny.
And now, with older eyes I look beyond
The asphalt track. So many valleys and
So many roads, too many for one life
To count. I cannot know, nor can I change
Their vast and timeless course. I only drive
This road, and climb this ridge, and watch them all.