She works the garden shadows, Long dress swaying over tilled earth , Hoe on loose rock issuing white noise As the evening bees home to the hive, As broad-winged hawk spirals higher For the last valley sun And silence takes the redstart’s willow. We too had come back to the land. Others we had known are gone: those Who came from cities hearing buried Voices, who mistook the innocent snake For primal serpent, who mistook the pine’s Whispered phrases for a muteness of earth And who in dreams mistook the walk of Old ways for the totterings of death. A chosen solitude, a spirit of the earth in heart, resides not only in the past. Then as now, she stops there in her work, Her back unbending with a memory, The fullness of a moment rippling far.