Mary Michaels

The Traveller (after Piranesi)

The shadows over the stones are long
it is late afternoon

the traveller has stopped
his feet on a perfect hexagon
to examine a pebble

not knowing that pebbles are dropped
as decoys along the way

The birds that have seen
so many wanderers
follow his steps with their reedy notes
one sound for each stone

those that he treads on
those he does not

they will fly into the air at dusk

the ferns will grow over the roadway
before he can reach the next one.


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