These pipes blow an ancient chord,
A pulse beating through the cold, cold sky.
I walked away from the churchyard
And down to the old streets.
She used to sing that song
Quietly as she worked her fields,
Watching the seeds take root,
One more harvest come, the same
Disappearing Into winter’s season
And slumber. Time, a dry solitary
Leaf passing over her face,
Over a rush of pure white snow.
There was always a new year,
One more harvest, huge pots of
Hot, fresh stew. One more night
Of songs, the warm bright fire
And the telling of stories.
What a chord that carries the soul.
A song to stay and tell the stories,
Light the fires again as I walk
Through this weeding field.
The rusting remnants of tools
And labor lay scattered in their place
Last used, in the long dry grass
Surrounding a house blown empty,
Gray and falling to the ground.
It is time for another year,
Another harvest in the dead season.
Things that end – end now.
As the pipes play and carry
Through the corridors of memory,
One leaf blown across the night.
©1994/2012 Sandra E. Walton