Thursday, December 27, 2007

Great Grandchildren of the West

We are the children of the children of the children
who fought each other.

Red and black, yellow and white,
chaos of humanity and directions,
mutual maternity more powerful
than violence a-horseback.

And now we come dancing to the center,
toes digging for water,
fingers tickling the sky.
Music of our many cultures
keeping time with wind, and thunder.

The multitude does not concern us,
we stand with creatures of the open—
cattle, cougar, caballo, badger, antelope and prairie dog—
and like the owl we
hoot above
the gramma, sage, and prickley pear,
grassland tapestry.
The home of those
who seek the breast of birthing earth.

It’s what we know that makes us different,
the knowledge of our nakedness,
the elder lore of grazing and the hunt,
that we are moisture born
and die alone,
that only things of import happen,
and the seasons cannot be stopped.

We measure our wealth in units of space
and our lives by our far-flung friends,
and it may be that we
are neither clan, nor family, nor tribe
but we are something…
no one word describes.

As our fortunes ride from
dust-dry thin to snow-pack deep
and back again,

the breezes clean us,
no fence can hold us…

we are the great grandchildren of the West.

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