The spring loosens its ratchet grip
to let a cog slide in the gloaming
of this adventure, as I look back
to softer faces and see the bright
and vulnerable lights flicker still—
despite fifty years of turbulence.
One triggers another around the fire,
half-lit silhouettes showing erosion,
an age that dares that same naiveté
endured among classmates—sweet
indulgence for old preppies, we harken
to the start of our circumambulation.
Ranch hand, irrigator, feeder of hay
wrestling stacks with Egyptian
engineering, I hear no call to arms,
no impossible gather without me—
all the young bucks risking and riding
good horses have that corner covered.
Following the old hands, I know cows,
like people, would rather be led
than driven with whoops and hollers.