When I see my friends in a different field,
I wave to them and they wave back,
but what we shout is so strange to hear,
the wind seems to carry the import of our words
to someone somewhere else.
We’re left grinning and waving, then—
because we have companions who, impatient,
want to go on with the walk and conversation—
we have to go on, almost without choosing to,
almost without noticing
this thing we’re lightly driven to do.
We look back—at whom we saw and let walk on
in a field in the evening with different companions,
remembering (as if seeing old neighborhoods
beneath their changes): someone
we once knew remaining and remaining, no matter
how long we walk and how often we look
back—until whoever’s walking with us stops
and demands we catch up, physically and in thought,
and, because that’s what we owe, we do.