The Stile


I walked a casual country mile.
I walked until I came to a stile
And climbed up and sat down a while.

The stile was not yet obsolete.
The top step served me for a seat.
The lower steps served for my feet.

Not far away some pigs were lazing.
Off to the east gray sheep were grazing.
Westward cows were standing gazing.

I faced one field and then the other.
I had no wish to go on further.
Even the going back was bother.

So I sat there on the fence.
Sitting still seemed common sense,
And any change, irrelevance.


Robert Francis, Robert Francis: Collected Poems, 1936-1976, University of Massachusetts Press, 1985.