Knowledge will cure them. But
not all at once. It will take time.
– William Stafford (“Waiting In Line”)
The cows have watched, seen me stumble
feeding hay, blade clenched in my teeth,
held their breath each time I climbed
the moving flat bed, wondering. And yes,
in town we step aside for one another,
open doors, lock eyes and nod for all
we have survived and seen, wondering.
We work the shallows near the bank
and stay from the faceless current, trying
to find an eddy in the coming rush of youth,
before another dam is built, or river loosed
to flood. It will take time to accumulate
credentials, or to have the luck to get lost
in the sun’s goodbye, or slow approach
to the day—and to save enough experience
to endure our last rainy day. No shortcuts,
it will take time to get to where we began,
to fill-in the blanks, take pride in your hands.