The long road is fringed with majestic
pili trees, some specked with flowers, or,
with ripe kernels now ground-fallen
The leaves wave, welcoming
the wind, glad that even in a windstorm,
the trees remain faithful to the earth.
Warm afternoon light winnows
through spaces between pandan blades,
streaking the road with gold and shadows.
Our faces smile through flutters of brightness
then gray. It is summer
yet the earth is moist and fragrant.
And the wind, streaming through the screwpine,
is like perfume kissing the skin.
A hundred feet up this mountain,
I resist the impulse to sit awhile and watch
the bamboos grow. Spellbound by a sound
almost palpable it ripples towards me
and touches my hair lightly. I walk on alone,
my companion already many moments ahead.

Montage Vol. 11 • September 2008


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