Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage

Taking the Cadmus Road is to notice edges,

that thin line where road meets cracked shoulder,

where gravel tumbles ditchward, yesterday’s water

gone to cracked green slime, the frogs resting

under the compass plants like still life.

 

Follow the turnings to where year after year

butterfly milkweed blazes red orange and the

spent yellow of St. John’s Wort browns. On the

Outlook Road, see where chicory marches, blue

sentinels with raised bayonets. Deeper in the

 

fields, Queen Anne’s lace begin to tie itself

into green granny knots of seed, only to unfurl

again come late fall. Beebalm rides the limestone

ridges and trumpet vine climbs high to cradle

tiny nests of hummingbirds. Gravel dust spun up

 

from the hay trucks and combines sifts from every

leaf. A solitary Swainson Hawk sits the round bales,

even as purple prairie clover and  Deptford pinks cling

to a tiny oasis below the dead maple. Without thinking

we label along with Linnaeus and countless others, in

pilgrimage along these roads. We call friends by name.