The Wolf

A hollow night. An empty road
winds down through a field of evergreen.
A traveler looking to rest his load;
a patch of grass where he can lie, unseen.

Down from the path, a broken bed
of stones sleep beside a moonlit stream
and bright-beamed stars overhead
burst like holes in a blanket’s seam.

To sleep would be a blessing
but the autumn leaves have long since fallen;
the road stretches on, time is pressing…
What if he should wake, find his warmth stolen

by winter’s first snowfall?
Near the bank, the grass is soft;
he thinks, “Just a moment is all,”
and goes down to escape the draft.

As he bows to the water for a drink,
his eyes follow the stream round
a sharp turn at the forest’s brink,
diving past the slope of a grassy mound.

A bristly paw steps out into the light.
Under starry sky the wolf feels welcome.
‘But who is this seeking shelter from the night,
sitting under my moon? He is far from home.’

Their eyes hold upon each other.
No breath outweighs the trickling
of the water, joining them together
as though it were a sacred link

untouched by ages time had forgotten.
“Tonight we share the moon, the river,
perhaps as we did in the Garden…
when my father walked with his father.”

A howl from over westward hill
calls the wolf home; the beast is gone.
Under coarse shoes, Earth lies still…
“We who are divided, once were one.”

A hollow night. An empty road
winds down through a field of evergreen.
The traveler rises, tightens his load
and drifts into forested shadow, unseen.

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