NOW THAT
by lois roma-deeley

you have found the stairway
which leads away from,
or toward?
the place I scratched away
the dark layer of a rock's surface
and now that you, traveler,
will take the steps, two by two,
don’t slip. It’s been a journey
hasn’t it?
to have walked all this way
on a little-used trail,
climbing over basalt cliffs,
through and beyond the far side
of a shallow wash, down into a valley
overgrown with cholla and saguaro.

Now that you can finally rest,
the bones of both feet hurt,
your mouth is dry.
And now you know what has become
a mark etched on the wall, a canyon echo
rising up to greet you—
hello? hello!