— for Andrew
Looking to the mountain.
Waiting for Her to arrive.
Horses, wagon or chariot,
and Her, the unspecified Her.
She will be coming, the people say.
Feels to me like a set up —
keeping us all
watching that mountain for
a century and more now
and we haven’t been even told Her name.
Freedom, some say. Salvation,
some say. Or something like
those, or something less cosmic.
She will have news of what’s on
the other side of the mountain,
that much seems obvious, even if
it’s not the principal reason
for the trip. I want to know, certainly,
what’s over there. If when I ask Her
she disdains me for being prosaic, I’ll know
it’s no place I belong. If She
shrugs me off when I ask for Her name,
I’ll walk back up the road she just traveled
and go ask Her people what it is.
Not every mythic arrival is glorious.
Maybe She just had the good sense
to come here to get away from something.
Maybe She will be a fugitive or refugee
and after all the waiting we’ll just expel
or kill Her out of frustration for the long wait.
Or in fact perhaps no one will ever come
and the whole point of the song
is to get us to watch the mountain
while someone steals the valley
from under our feet. Maybe
She’s already here among us,
waiting for us
to figure it out.