Light turns the dark quilt-tops of houses
into roofs, and you drive not thinking
the familiar highway and street names,
wondering how the city will seem: you
both conspicuous and unnoticed,
a stranger unrecognized even as that.
You stop in the mile-high air
on Main Street: on the hill, the white-washed
emblem of the high school, still in shadow.
Soon children will come from the houses and be grown -
unknown to you as any city stranger.
Winter will close in early
and the air stay thin, the passes open,
perilous. Pasture fences will mend
and go ragged again, new couples trying
to remain in the valley,
to make the crops of one short season
If you wait until the post office opens,
faces will pass and go in, assuming you will be here
as they leave. Everyone you will ever know
will say your name.