The Wandering Herd

Inspired by the herd of wild elephants that is trekking across China.

Just go: We heard the clarion call
and rose without delay,
and though the road is now our all,
we do not know the way.

No matter, for the heart has ears;
the body comprehends
the silent music that it hears,
the way that never ends.

And so we followed, forging paths
across the ordered fields,
and foraged in the towns we passed
for any good they'd yield.

They fall behind, the shrinking lands,
but our way still goes on
to where the world untroubled stands
before a peaceful dawn.

The call still wakes us everyday,
and still we rise and go.
Our young ones born along the way,
they, too, already know

the rhythm of our restless feet,
the music of the search,
the pattern—seek and sleep and eat—
surrounding them from birth,

and if we old ones walk no more,
our ways will never part
as long as echoes run before,
the trumpets of the heart.

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