The Wanderer

The Wanderer
by Theodora Goss

“Where are you going, wanderer?”
I asked as she walked by.

“Through the valleys and over the hills,
to the halls of the sky.”

“What will you do there?” I asked, confused.

“Study nature’s book.
Its pages are leaves, its words are rain
that runs into a brook,
and all the brooks together run
into a river, deep
as thought and swift as time. Its subject
makes the reader weep.”

“Why do you read such a sorrowful book?”
I asked her, standing there.
Her hair was black, her eyes as bright
as swallows in the air.
She wore a coat of autumn leaves,
yellow and brown and red.
She looked at me so solemnly,
then said,

“Because my mother wrote it.
I want to read her words:
the pattering of raindrops,
the crash of ocean waves,
the murmur of insects busy
among the summer flowers,
the silent yet insistent
descent of winter snows.
Although her central theme
moves me to tears:
that beauty and sorrow dance
together through the years.”

I gave her bread and water
and bade her stay awhile.
She shook her head and said,
with a distant smile,

“I’m on my mother’s business,
but my sister comes behind.
I beg you, greet her as kindly,
for she will bring the cold and frost,
reminders of what you have lost.
And keep in mind
what my mother has written, although
you may read it with tears:
that beauty and sorrow dance
together through the years.”


(The image is by Emile Eisman-Semenowsky. I thought the woman in it looked like autumn . . .)

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2 Responses to The Wanderer

  1. Belinda says:

    Beautiful! I’ve always loved the thought of the seasons as Wise Women moving endlessly through time… Thank you!

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