From the top of the hill the island shakes down over the surrounding sea
A quilt of smooth green and ribboning fences.
The old woman stops, hands on her hips, to watch us approach.
She smiles wide, rocks back onto the heels of her rubber boots.
She points to her piece of smooth green, her ribboning fences.
The people here, she tells us, work hard with their hands.
She smiles when I talk, rubber boots walking sure, heel to toe side by side.
I ask where she was born and she looks to the south.
The people here, she says, are like trees with roots that grow deep
but with seeds that are blown to parts far and away.
She asks where we’re going and we point to the south.
She quints at the sun: I once went away to the north with my mother.
Like seeds strewn across water from high and away
these islands scatter down over the surrounding sea.
Between a boat yet half made and the sea and its rising
the old woman stops, hands on her hips, to watch us walk on.