galloping across the openness

bands of orange-red pink
layed across eastern horizon
as seen through four-paned window
joseph lifting out
coals (some still glowing)
from last nights fire
before starting up
this morning’s
the pat-pat of grandmother (something like shi masahnah in diné)
‘s hands forming frybread
in the kitchen while emory
peels potatoes
mucho macho and barbara
reunite complete
with costume change
(floral jeans [which supplies laughter
for a good portion of the day] for barb
and much-mach in all black)
five sheepdogs and a sixth that looks
like a red fox tearing off
across the mesa in hot pursuit
of a jackrabbit
glinting coats of wild
horses in the not-so-distant distance
first standing watch
than galloping across the openness

sound of sheepbells
cling-clang ringing
carried by desert wind
shimmer of silver
windmill to the
north marking water
where sheep stop for a drink
every other day

trish talks about the sound
of crunching that surrounds us
(sheep teeth meet juniper branches and berries,
sage and dry yellow grasses)
neither of us ceasing to be
amazed at what these
creatures sustain themselves on

soup and silence sometimes
punctuated with english
or diné

in the duskysunset
heavy/light with the exhuastion
of a day of desert wind
and evil hiking boots
i’m starting to feel the sadness (of leaving)
i tell trish
kindof crumpling
on the floor next to the heat
of the humming woodstove
in lantern light
we decide
who’s on water duty tomorrow morning
and who’s on fire
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