At Winter Solstice

Too long since we’ve walked
these silent hills, climbed up
from the rich black bottom lands,
bright fields of winter wheat,

Bent with the weight of the whole
world’s need, past fences shouting —
It’s mine. Keep out. Beyond the muddy
year-round streams, past the last
now unused gate.

Along the dried creek bed,
latticed limestone overhung
with burr oak — twisting, broken branches
tugging at our shirts.

Until even the brown tipped cedars stop
and the land fans out below,
around, on every side.

And a dry wind slips
over the spikes of the prickly pear
in tough, unignorable silence.

Hear it:




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