Leaves fell in season
fruit turned to sounding conches,
the water near me was water
stone was stone
death found no footpath.
The river clear with slim watersnakes
birdshadows, the numberless cicadas.
That movement? Gravel in the riverbed,
the startled stone-thrush.
I looked behind me: nobody.
Only the cloudy water by the bank,
the marks of giant footsteps
and the stones all around them wet.
There was just time to stop my ears up
as his laughter rang out.
From Black Stones, 1980