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  • On a given Sunday,
    standing on the crest of land above the plain,
    I watch the road,
    its litany of mutters and chiding rises and falls
    like waves in some impatient sea,
    lapping at the shore below,
    a constant rippling, rushing arising
    from disturbances far offshore
    sounding against the granite bones of the land
    in an endless seeking surge of foam and roil.
    The streaming cars, glinty bright as bubbles,
    swept up and on, while those within
    never know the wind.

    After a time, I turn away,
    Wander from the path,
    following contour, track, and ridge,
    until I find,
    tucked in a fold of the hills
    an olive grove.
    Rows of dark and gnarled trunks
    twined and twisted limbs
    black with rot where wind and age have taken their toll.
    Last night’s frost clutched among the shadows
    while through the fine fretted canopy of silver green,
    shafts of light stand like pillars
    from the earth, so dark richly silent
    carpeted with centuries of fallen leaves.

    The fields around are fallow
    the track deeply rutted
    the orchard pebbled with fallen olives
    the rusted gate propped up with a stone
    a faded 'Se Vende' sign hangs askew.
    Perhaps, I think,
    in better times
    the land would be made to pay.
    Perhaps, I think,
    in better times,
    the king stopped here before the hills.
    In the end, I gave the grove its measure of silence
    and then walked on.
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