With the rising of the sun on that day, once a year,
she still makes her sacred trek.
Though her hands be well worn and her face full of cracks
where rivers eroded, left open, dry;
though her back’s a curved surface which aches with each step,
still she hobbles the road through the town.
She speaks not a word as slowly she passes,
ingesting each everyday sight:
boys on bikes whirl around shouting what must be done,
the mailman, the cobblers, children with kites,
so young, so alive, so apart.
She stops at cold beach, unfurls her grey bun,
cups her hands to her eyes to the sea
and watches for proof that her hope still lives,
though each year expects it less.
And her smile at the sight of a distant sail,
the leaving of one that she loves
is enough for the work of another year,
is enough for the journey home.