by Joseph Baldwin

Other roads followed the level ground,
but this one turned a corner to the right
around a farmstead and its dark red buildings,
and the car strained over to the left, then centered
on the road
to follow up the gentle slope of a small hill,
then dropped down on the other side into a quiet
valley
where good people were sitting down to supper
after prayers.
Idly-pecking hens stepped about near the old
staunchly-built barn,
and a collie came sniffing eagerly to the gate,
his brown eyes welcoming. One tanned youth
came striding in late from the field and sprang
up the back steps
and buried his face in water his hands scooped
up from the basin.

One more long look. Then the Willys, at the
pressure of my foot,
lifted its nose and pointed away toward mountains
that lay like a purple cloud bank on the horizon.

One of the tiny lights set in that loftiness
marked where we should find shelter for the night;
which one, we’d discover in good time: the steady
climbing toward that promise was now, for the long
while,
peace enough and fulfillment, in itself.