Believe in this couple this day who come to picnic in the Faery Glen. They pay rain no matter, or wind. They spread their picnic under a gale-stunted rowan. Believe they grew tired of giants and heroes and know they believe in wise tiny creatures who live under the rocks. Believe these odd mounds, the geologic joke played by those wise tiny creatures far from the world's pitiful demands: make money, stay sane. Believe the couple, by now soaked to the skin, sing their day as if dry, as if sheltered inside Castle Ewen. Be glad Castle Ewen's only a rock that looks like a castle. Be glad for no real king. These wise tiny creatures, you'd better believe, have lived through it all: the Viking occupation, clan torturing clan, the Clearances, the World War II bomber gone down, a fiery boom on Beinn Edra. They saw it from here. They heard the sobs of last century's crofters trail off below where every day the Conon sets out determined for Uig. They remember the Viking who wandered off course, under the hazelnut tree hating aloud all he'd done. Some days dance in the bracken. Some days go out wide and warm on bad roads to collect the dispossessed and offer them homes. Some days celebrate addicts sweet in their dreams and hope to share with them a personal spectrum. The loch here's only a pond, the monster is in it small as a wren. Believe the couple who have finished their picnic and make wet love in the grass, the tiny wise creatures cheering them on. Believe in milestones, the day you left home forever and the cold open way a world wouldn't let you come in. Believe you and I are that couple. Believe you and I sing tiny and wise and could if we had to eat stone and go on.
From Making Certain It Goes On: The Collected Poems of Richard Hugo by Richard Hugo. Copyright © 2008 by Richard Hugo. Reprinted by permission of W.W. Norton. All rights reserved.