But we’ve always revered them, our guardians.
Stingy with gifts like all gods
But lavish in examples.
As fruitful for us to follow them
As for a metal worker in Greece
To keep in mind the sky forge,
For a bowman to revere a godly bowman.
Like the Olympians, only closer,
Uncertain as we are about final things.
Stumped in Bible class
By the verses that now stump us,
The question unresolved about heaven’s kingdom,
How far it lies if it lies within.
They’re only one lesson ahead of us.
A few minutes in front as they walk home
After the concert, asking themselves
What we’ll be asking ourselves soon,
Where exactly the music’s gone,
Whether the difference between what is and was
Is as vast as it seems and as final.
We’re walking their narrow trail across the country.
The embers of their fire are still warm
As we make our fire and snuggle in,
Happy as we fall asleep with the thought
That we’re keeping our true pace,
Not so slow that we lose them,
Not so quick that we pass them unawares.
When we’re lost we know they were lost
At the same spot, that we’re circling back
Just where they did, our doubt
Faithful to their doubt, our fear
A daring likeness of their fear.