The Call of the Road

- jan-u-wine

I should chide you
for standing about
upon the Road
like that.
 
Folks
will talk,
you know.
 
But.....
 
there is no one,
no one save me
to see you,
 
ghost-still
in the shadows of the gate,
pinned by the drifting,
full-rounded moon
 
Ragged cloud edges
part,
shape
sickly yellow.
 
I follow your gaze.
 
I see
what
you see.
 
It casts a pale
shadow
upon the road,
 
this sallow moon:
 
the shadow of an eye.
 
Your fingers
lie tight
against your throat.
 
It is cold tonight....
winter chases departed
autumn.....
 
in another moment,
 
wind-hurried clouds
will hide
that which you imagine
you see.
 
There.
 
It is gone.
 
I turn you
to the comfort of the Hill,
tiny tongues
of candles
flickering like
earth-bound stars
in rounded windows.
 
Your own door lies open,
its face warm,
bright
against gathering night.
 
Your foot
idly
stirs the dust
beneath it,
your eyes
follow
the curve of the road.
 
Of a sudden,
I understand.
 
In disbelief,
yet still,
at last,
I understand:
 
The Road.
 
It calls you.
 
Like the Sea
speaks to the Elves,
 
until they must embrace
Her
or die in sorrow,
 
it calls you.
 
With grief, I understand yet more.
 
Beneath the age-less lamps
of the stars,
 
you will wander,
seek
that which you may never find,
something for which there are no words,
 
something glimmering half-forgotten
in the darkened reeds of a summer night
when the world turned to shadow
and swallowed the cries
of a child
on his knees beside a grey river.
 
Deep in the night,
 
when I thought you asleep,
 
when even the Moon has gone
to His rest,
 
I follow the edges of uneasy dream
and find you,
hand curved
upon misted glass,
looking yet into the mirror of the sky.
 
The silence within you bleeds out,
like a voice itself,
pools cold about my heart.

It will not be long now
before you answer
the call of the road.