Long, long ago, I was an artist.
I remember that now, suddenly,
and find myself drawn, as if by fate,
back toward a past I left behind.
I would laugh if I could, heartily,
at how I so easily cast aside my pride.
In this life, after all, I am but a lamb.
They say it is 2021, whatever that means.
2021. When was I, then?
When did my life happily end?
I remember feeling so well-rested,
so complete and so very at peace.
Yet here I am, sneaking away from my flock,
steadfastly wandering, as if on a string,
back toward a canvas of stone from long ago
that calls to me every night, in whispers.
My king, my king, do you remember?
Surely not, but I do now, strangely.
You requested a monument stronger than time,
an everlasting staple against the landscape.
Yet how nervous I find myself now.
These streets of glittering blackened stone,
these buildings of steel and fire-bright glass,
this tomorrow we never could have known.
How dare I hope it still stand, my stone?
The carvings and the tunnels and the arches.
In this tomorrow, even the hills are different.
Only shadows and an old wind guide me now.
My hooves click and clack on dirt and rock,
surely not good for me, surely not,
and I feel myself grow ever closer
to a point on a compass I forgot for eras.
I was once the greatest architect, I think,
my inner voice cackling feverishly.
How trite, how silly, how absurd.
How arrogant to try to achieve forever.
Look now, upon the missing forests.
Marvel at mountains, now only hills.
Even the Creator leaves no traces behind
and I have the nerve to search for mine?
Call it hubris perhaps, or old attachments,
but I do want to see, with my own eyes,
what great new thing replaced me.
Not me the sheep, nor me the builder.
Me the work of art, me the false eternity,
me the last loyal subject to a dead kingdom.
I turn the corner, on surprisingly dusty grounds.
My eyes, if they could, would weep uncontrollably.
There, where it always was, weathered and worn
stands the Cairn of Barnenez, as they call it now.
My little baby sheep knees threaten to buckle.
Three hundred miles later, I am home. Fulfilled.