The Solace

Leaving the warm, vagrant heart of the village
the men stumble home. The road
goes cold at night, a soft silver causeway in fields
of barley.  This walk is long for me. There is
a hardness here, like the great black distances
between one house and the next.
The earth shivers and holds on, gravel
embedded in the tar. But,
even in this cold the heart
finds something to rest on: the fact
of the solid earth, the protection
of the ditch. Dark barns brood as I pass,
the moon sings to the West and I greet
the obviousness of the stars by name.

Originally published in Artful Dodge 22/23, 1992