- Jesse Graves

A man walks into the middle of his life
with expectations of more years
exactly like the one he's just passed,
more years in the prime, if these
have been days he wants to live on.

A man walks to a stand of trees,
and behind the trees, who can see
ahead to tell him? Who can tell
whether there lies an open meadow,
tall grass sprinkled with wildflowers,

or whether the man walks through a forest,
more trees beyond those he can see,
tangled together with vines and briers,
undergrowth so thick he cannot pass,
and, of course, he can never turn back.

A man walks toward the voice of an owl,
not knowing what to believe about
the sayings, the old song of the corpse-bird
crying out that his time is near at hand,
or that good fortune has found him, after all.