Richard Greene, Republic of Solace: Poems 1984-1994 (St. John's, NF: Breakwater, 1994): 49. PS 8563 R3836R47 Robarts Library
1He asks, “Where do the years go?”
2I wonder does he mean to be answered.
3Tears gather like an avalanche
4In old eyes, along the high slopes
5Of innocence and regret,
6And he turns his head away,
7Gazes through a window toward the pasture
8Where the last of his cows
9Are grazing at dusk.
10“Where do the years go?”
11Some perhaps are in his hands,
12In the knuckles and the broad thumbs,
13And some perhaps are in his children,
14And in the silent house they have left.
15As for the rest,
16There is only the night that comes on,
17And the forgetting of love.
18He falls into the privacy of his own death
19Watching light vanish from the meadow,
20Is silent, and turns again to the boy
21Who fears such grief.
22“Where do the years go?”
23“Somewhere good I hope.”
24The old man had not expected an answer,
25Nods again toward the darkness,
27“Somewhere good I hope.”
RPO poem Editors
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
Copyright © Richard Greene and used by permission of the poet.
Authorization to republish this poem must be obtained from him in writing.