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I walk the wards at night,
Pacing, sure-footed, through dim-lit halls.
Cool floors press against my feet,
Solid as an ancient mountain's bones.
Soap and alcohol scent this air,
Not meadows' perfume,
And the star-flung sky
Is occulted by stone.

I left the paths of my fathers
To tread these still abodes,
Always seeking, never content
In that unchanging life.

Tonight, gray shapes slumber in orderly rows.
They stir beneath my gaze, then settle as I pass.
At home, the herders of my family
Watch the goats so.

--Chantal Whittington

(Published in Mediphors Magazine and in Teatime in the Oleander Garden: An Anthology of Poetry by Southern Women.)