The lap of the mountain meadow
Breaking at the cliff-quarry where
Venetians had once sawed their stone, soft
Nag of surf far below foot, he
Stares seaward the distance to sunset.
The sky is rose-hearted, immense, undisturbed.
In that light the youth’s form is black, without motion,
And birds, gull nor other, have no transaction
In the inflamed emptiness of sky. Mountainward,
No bird cries. We had called once,
But we were too far, too far.
Molten and massy, of its own weight flattened,
The sun accelerates downward, the sea,
From general slate-blue, flaming upward.
Contact is made at the horizon-line.
On that line, one instant, one only,
The great coin, flame-massy and with
The frail human figure minted black thereon,
Balances. Suddenly is gone. A gull
Impairs at last the emptiness of air.
We are closer now. The black
Silhouette, small, yet stares seaward. To our cry
It does not turn. Later,
It will, and turning, see us with a slow
And pitying happiness of recognition born of
A knowledge we do not yet have. Or have forgotten.
He spreads his arms to the sky as though he loves us.
He is so young.
September 30, 1976