When I walk the path this morning
there is only a slight light
in the thinned woods.
I come upon a creek
near a tin-roofed house;
and there’s no one anywhere
to witness my presence.
Meanwhile the wind
rises through the branches—
but soon reaches groundfall.
A faint smell of honeysuckle
sustains itself on the air
while quail rove the slope-weeds.
My eyes will not let go.
Now I think of my great-grandfather
who one time walked these woods through daylight.
This is the country he knew since boyhood.
And I am grateful for this homeplace—
here, I, too, wish to grow old
and stand without words
in this part of the world
so lively and pure.
I can hear a dog barking
somewhere in the far distance—
here where the voices of former life
do not speak, their spirits huddling
into themselves, a brotherhood of saints.
We are this fresh green world
which cradles everything into itself.
Copyright 1992 by Lenard D. Moore, originally published in Forever Home (Laurinburg, NC: St. Andrews Press, 1992; reprint, Laurinburg, NC: St. Andrews College Press, 1996). Used by permission of the author.