Shuffling slowly down the mountainside
like an old man mindlessly wandering,
playing out its energies
along the roadside pavement,
meandering first on one side
then the other while I wonder
why the road was built between
the outer reaches of its pendulum swings.
The Caney Fork of the Tuckaseegee
is the mirror of me as I slowly descend.
First I'm right then I'm left
as I surge impatiently or linger apace,
defining a space or ignoring a boundary,
pondering aimlessly, an itinerant journeyman,
following the valley to reach a conclusion,
then losing myself in the confluence
of a greater stream.