Voices in the Wind


You who inhabit this land that was our home,
speak no more of us with the sad regret
of those you have surpassed, speak no more
of us as those whose sun has long been set.

The yellowed parchments that crack and crumble
in the care of your warm, anxious hands
tell little of the heartache we felt, of lost love,
or of the splendor of our summer grasslands.

What you know of us does not sweeten
the grapes in our vineyards, now overgrown;
it doesn’t include our memories of storms in April,
or include all the seeds that in our time were sown.

What you know of us does not tell how
in the fields in summer we rested in the shade
to drink water or to hear a song, sung by a girl,
or to sit and watch as our children played.

Your history of us is not as telling
as we had hoped; it does not rise above
the page to steer your thoughts from your thoughts
to the crucial question of how to love.

Your geography is more human.
With its forests of trees and cliffs of stone,
it is hesitant, almost nostalgic, in its
remembrance of the dust that was our bones.

We were more adventurous than you supposed.
Coming before you, you are what we foretold.
Coming before you, we know what it is to be young
and arrogant and what it means to grow old.

We watch now, scanning the domain we created,
remembering how we once too had faces,
remembering how time bound us to this land.
We were here once, we were once in your place.

We were once more to the world than voices
in the wind, more in the scheme of your line of time
than forgotten souls honored by stones inscribed
with forgotten names and a verse or two of rhyme.