Their headstones now have sunken into sand,
amid tall weeds, some cholla, scattered sage,
the writing visible, but not at hand.
Their years among the dead compose my age.
That which they did was well done, be it said.
Their journey, both of reason and ideal,
was beautiful, if odd—one step ahead,
one back, advancing in a commonweal
by indirection and the stars. Regret
was rare. They tacked across the desert, found
a pleasant harbor of the mind, and set
their talents and devotion in the ground
like trees. They left again, the port unknown.
Few can appreciate their legacy.
I mark their goodness on the fallen stone
and wave my handkerchief in memory.