You others, we the very old have a country.
A passport costs everything there is.
– William Stafford (“Waiting in Line”)
Circles mapped to save steps on sure ground,
well-worn routine from barn to mangers,
feed and irrigate with the right tools
to mend our presence along the way—few
loose pages nowadays, at the ready—gathers
to brand and wean replayed, filed by pasture.
I remember the old dogs refreshing scent posts
in the last of the light before they slept
into forever, and all the old horses in the dark
nosing buckets trying to bring the sun—
and my father’s careful words, after awhile,
you have to get used to not being first in line.