abstract illustration of cow with dots
Paul Spella / The Atlantic

We come across a ridge and hear
a cowbell in the cove beyond,
a tinkle sweetening the air
with vague rubato as the breeze
erases tones and then the notes
resume like echoes from the past
or from a cave inside the cliff,
a still, calm voice in dialect
and keeping its own company,
both out of time and long as time,
both here and from a higher sphere,
as if the voice of history
were intimate as memory.