Today I stop to photograph
a backroad milestone which reclines
in fescue and rough dandelions.
The miles ahead, the miles behind.

Simple numbers all declaring
how far we’ve travelled from our source,
and how much further we may go
along our crooked, shrinking, course.

Perhaps some poet rested here,
to interrupt her daily walk,
and from this sun-blessed stone observed
a beetle toiling through the stalks?

“Poor Sisyphus! We’re all mere slaves,
fraught with delusions of freewill,
each strapped into our given yoke
while pushing rocks up endless hills”

The unschooled bug made no reply.
The sun, in yellow shimmer-chains,
stepped west across its prison yard.
My poet rose, moved off again.

I watch the breeze flow through the grass,
then photograph the shadow-trees
cast on the stone. I turn my back,
as time counts down, relentlessly.