The Day We Landed

This could be the day; this heave of foliage,
pale and towering in the pearly light,
the same sky, emptying itself of cloud,
life, like arrowheads in the air above.
We first set foot on such a day as this.

Remember, we sometimes say, we old ones,
at a graveside, or sick bed, or wary
of the darting children whose home this is,
how lost we voyagers felt that first day
and reluctant to let go; remember

all debate ending when my wife beckoned
to the daughter who would never grow old,
their footprints fresh in the sunrise grass,
as if a promise had been made, or broken,
while the scent of a new world drowned us all.

—David Barber