My Fortieth Year

I am in my fortieth year.
Struck by the impermanence of things.
The fleeting nature of our work—the
long and bitter toil that seems to be a rage
    against mortality.

I sit upon a Rock—an Ancient—
    our Grandfather.
How many millennia have gone past
Since the waters of the river below
    have kissed its face?
    How many millennia more will it
Stand here
    as sentinel above the river
    after my bones have turned to
    carried away by the river of time?

Against this immensity of scale
    the years of my life measure
        as nothing
    A fleeting thought in the
        memory of the earth
Our entire race of men
    a footnote in the chronicles
    of the rock and stone.
    Of them who were here long
before us and who will
    remain long after us—till
        the very heavens ignite
            and consume them.

Against this immensity it is
        that my life should merit
            your attention
    When the earth herself has
barely taken note.

How is it that in eons hence,
when no memory of us remains
    in the earth or the skies
        you will remember?

I do not understand it
    It is too wonderful for me.
And I sit upon this rock
    This Ancient
    This Grandfather

And marvel.