Thursday, October 30, 2003

Poem for my sister

Flatness gives way to a deep horizon.
It is dusk and the red light
is fading fast into the fire
of autumn. The sky and the earth
are both in flames with the red
of battle between the sun and moon.

Mayolie lives under
the canopy of Arizona skies –
big and blue
and broken with billowing white clouds
all the way
to where heaven greets the earth. The horizon. Where
life would be different, she

It is this evening in the realm
of fire that Mayolie reaches
for the bottle. Cheap whiskey
once named firewater
and brought west. It is like
every other night, while
in the sky there is a new
star, bright and not flickering in the purple
between day and night. This night
will be different.

Once the cool has crept down
from the mountains, and the mounds
of earth and wood become quiet,
Mayolie struggles to sleep beneath
a wool blanket weaved in someone’s
front room. In her sleep she sees past
the new star…

With her dreams, Mayolie becomes
a she-wolf in the hills and lives in the safety
of a space between three rocks. But she is hunted
by large men with gleaming eyes
and red hot rifles. And the men
are the leaders of the village
and she sees the hatred in their faces
and she sees they laugh
when she is cornered. And they shoot
her and leave her cubs
to die.

In the morning, Mayolie remembers,
and she knows the place for her child
is not in the flatlands, but in the world
of the horizon.

Copyright 2003 by Peter A. Stinson.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.

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