I know I must return to the signpost and follow
the trail which I glimpsed earlier. A family of ducks
passes the afternoon. The mother ventures into the reeds,
and her babies lose no time in following.
The father passes by where his children played a moment ago.
I venture on myself. At length, I come to a second signpost.
I look up from my reading. Behold the grassy, unkempt mound
where stone tools, pottery shards, and human remains
have been found. I might say here is where I wonder, and here
is some line I will stand behind to look across at the sacred.
That is more or less what occurred. I define no spiritual greatness
that limits itself to exercising its newness or oldness on top
of the burial mound where only the grass grows a little thicker
than at other points in the wood. I walk a minute more,
find civilization, and turn back the way I came.
I pass the spot again where the ducklings played.
The pond is left to the father who seems a trifle uneasy
in his forgetfulness of his family who is certainly not far off.
I rejoin the path at which point I pedal the route over the bridge
and to the intersection.