Fall 2016 (Volume 20, Issue II): 20th Anniversary Issue
from A Hundred Hardanger Tunes
Farther than he can see everything
turns away, the sun itself lower
each day. Time scrapes, slides off
the back of the vidda in white
waves—a shiver, no more, births
another loss. He hears their breath
at night beyond the hem of the fire,
sees the churned snow in the morning.
The dead ride among the herds,
too tired to walk, tending always west—
and so he turns that way, toward
the edge off which they plunge one
after the other, antlers whistling.
He won’t arrive in time, he knows
that. Bent beside a half-frozen stream
before light he hears distant godless
gulls mocking the unexamined faith
that drives them thundering over.