Four feet tall, eighty-year-old

body, tilt-angled

like a wind-whittled trunk,

she walks her well worn

paths, carved deep by the

stone of her heel.

Slowly she goes, as if

each step were a winding down

toward eternity,

though the others,

who now, like giants,

vigorously steal steps, vault,

pivot at corners and disappear

above her listing view.

Yet, face bent forward,

creaking now into an entreating

smile, she convenes with the

earth beneath her, gently persists,

persuades it to give a little more ground.

And even though, long ago

this world passed her by,

the earth, in his secret, patient communion

with all things

grants her this gift.

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