Mostly, it was the dark that interested them.
The cracks and the dim wind that blew
inwards, down into the cold earth.
Not the high trails vined with blooming
rhododendron. Not the sky.
Mystery called them and they crawled
over rocks to answer.
It was the ease with which they went down
that bothered me. Their slim bones fit
where mine could not and they thought
nothing of it though I could tell that balance
was crucial. Sometimes, if I leaned over
the ledge far enough, I could see briefly
into the dark and a foot or a finger would
appear, the skin soft against the stone
as they moved deeper.
In the end, they disappeared into the silence
and there was nothing I could do. The young
go where they please because the spirit
demands it. I waited a long time for them
to return, their hair mud-dappled.
Their eyes shaded with knowledge
I had forgotten.