Near a cascade of bellflowers,
an old woman stands by a creek
watching as we sink
our feet into ice,
watching as we gasp
and ripples rush
to the far end of the valley.

Beneath flash and gurgle,
the polished stones are mute.
Their silence is thunder;
the quiet is cracking.

"Many pilgrims put their pain here,"
the woman murmurs,
"and no one knows where it goes."