What pilgrim is this up ahead
Who pauses in his forward stride,
Looks back at me an then extends
A helpful hand and grasps with ease
My breathless and despairing palm?
His warming touch is purely balm
And yet his pace is not reduced.
He has no interest or disdain
For my tear-stained gratitude.
My good fortune makes no difference.
Day by day and year by year
We walk forward through the mists
That gather and recede by turns,
Blinding sometimes, sometimes bright.
Our hands move forward ... never mind.
And as time passes bit by bit
His touch grows lighter and lighter still
Until one day my pilgrim is no longer there.
I pause and glance behind and see
Another pilgrim, who is me.