The Road Up

“The road up is the same as the road down,”
“You cannot step in the same river twice.”
Snippets in my head of Heraclitus,
As foot strikes ground, as breath enters my chest
And as breath leaves again. The earth is brown
And light green after rain, earth doesn’t rest
But changes. Alterations must suffice
For our eternity—we call it time—
A hill for us is something we must climb
We must descend. We think it’s there to spite us,
Though to itself it does not rise or fall,
The foothill and the summit are as one,
And all gleams gold at once, the setting sun,
And all gleams gold. At once, the setting sun,
The foothill and the summit are as one,
Though to itself it does not rise or fall,
We must descend. We think it’s there to spite us,
A hill. For us it’s something we must climb
For our eternity. We call it time,
What changes. Alterations must suffice,
A light green after rain. Earth doesn’t rest
But breathes leaves again. The earth is brown
As foot strikes ground, as breath enters my chest
Snippets in my head of Heraclitus,
“You cannot step in the same river twice,”
“The road up is the same as the road down.”

A. E. Stallings

A. E. Stallings

A.E. Stallings is an American poet who has lived in Greece since 1999.She has published two volumes of translation, most recently a verse translation of Hesiod's Works and Days from Penguin Classics, and four books of poems, most recently Like from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.She has received grants and fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim, and the MacArthur foundations.
A. E. Stallings

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Author: A. E. Stallings

A.E. Stallings is an American poet who has lived in Greece since 1999. She has published two volumes of translation, most recently a verse translation of Hesiod's Works and Days from Penguin Classics, and four books of poems, most recently Like from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. She has received grants and fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim, and the MacArthur foundations.