This autumn child’s mountain lungs
open to the morning chill,
clear as when these cold peaks still were growing;
her mountain bones are strong as were
these great stones in their youth.
The sutures of her skull are soft,
to let in autumn light;
the plates that form her skull will shift
with the growth of autumn thoughts,
as she learns to walk the trembling soil
of a world on shifting plates.
These stone muscles run deep into the ground,
they have weathered rain and sun and snow;
they have seen the vast clear night
And soaked in all the starry light
that shines as it did above the elders.
but these mountains now are growing old;
they will be taken by the sea.
And the autumn child’s children’s breath
will crest and fall in ocean rhythms
upon the rolling waves.