The path

All about me are things trodden upon.
I stamp a path in the grass myself.
How many insects am I killing?
One pale one? One harmful?
Did I hear a snake sigh?

Two meadows down,
A blue-jay in a pine.
A dog barks twice,
Moving behind me.
In the porch in a quiet chair,
Or in the grass going,
A double life…

Listen! A train whistle for the left ear.

On the path,
A witness,
A smoke,
An amorous wing
For the eye.

                           -- published in The New Yorker, September 16, 1967

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