Return to Paros

Up the mountain again three years later,
rocking forward like a burro.
Breathing hard in and out.
Stone, tough earth, loosely tied bales
of wheat all the same color in the sun.
Giant curve of Her shape above me.
Sky dark blue behind that.
Eyes down again picking the way until
finally I stop and deliberately look ahead.
One fig tree. Old dark leaves
and ugly branches easy to break. So aged.
Bark so old I think of weeping. Motionless.
Managing leaves this year but no fruit.
The barrenness of Her place now.
The view all around sky and shining sea.
Her most of all, and the stillness.
The sun so overpowering it is like night
in daytime. Seeing what I live with
only when my eyes close.