I speak now of that Grand Canyon
which lies within each of us. There
are pre-Cambrian rocks at the center,
the core, and talus from yesterday’s fall;
marble and granite grown hard from the
pressure and heat of heartbreak and
passion; crumbling sandstone, layer on
layer of sediment, sentiment piled on
over a lifetime’s experience. The sun
bursts on us each morning then dies
and we are in darkness, but moon shadows
tease our walls. We listen to the pulsating
rhythm of time’s river lapping at our
shores. The sandy places slide, diffuse,
move closer to the sea. A billion years
of erosion is magnifed, demagnifed into
sixty or seventy years as we measure time.
Perhaps in a million years your shinbone
will be a fossil in another Grand Canyon,
cold in a bed of rock next to mine.
This poem is from “Grand Canyon and other Selected Poems,” by Amil Quayle, who has run the Grand Canyon for most of his life. The book is available from our office at a cost of $15.00. If you would like one, give us a call at 1-800-253-7328.