Beneath a Jacaranda Tree


Beneath a jacaranda tree
I fell asleep and dreamed.
A desert spread before my eyes
Pristine, or so it seemed,

Yet there an older mason kneeled
Amid the drifts of sand,
And brick by brick he built a road
Across that empty land.

I could not see its starting point,
Nor see his goal ahead.
I asked him why he worked so hard.
To build it straight, he said.

But when the final brick is placed
What do you hope to find?
He shrugged and said, what matters more
Is what I leave behind.

He gestured to his left and right
At all the open space,
And said, one day more men will come
To build within this place.

The desert will be crossed with roads,
Some built with care, some not,
To either lead our feet astray,
Or to the end we sought.

He said, your path reveals your soul
Despite what you intend,
Then with a twinkle in his eye
Said, think on this my friend:

Our young will travel down these paths
That you and I design,
And on them they will grow to men,
Thus I take care with mine.

I woke beneath a canopy
Of purple blooms, and mused,
Then filled my trowel with cement
To patch the path I used.


© William Keller, 2015

Public Domain Photo