The burden and the trail

It winded long a narrow cliff
and when the switchbacks ended –
the trail did make its way
long canyon walls and ridges

With hills too steep
that one could only dare to climb,
I walked and gazed upon the land of dots of sage and clumps of grass

Astounded and amazed was I,
that for a moment
lost in beauty and in thought,
did then I see the sprawling village
lay upon canyon floor

from the East
and draped the land with brilliant
white and yellow hue,
and all the while the spruce and pines stretched upward –
touching heavens view

Brilliant mats of flowers dripped with mist that
hid the larks
and robins too –
and in the distance
could be heard
the sounds of men who toiled while children played
and women sang –
a place where elders gave their thanks

The trail I walked did pass this splendid place –
a valley were so many native soles had tread
so long ago
that left behind
the tracks of foot and travois too

How now I wish that I had stopped
to smell the tanning hides –
and to have watched the ponies run before the storms –
to hear the whispers of the wind
as spoke my name
with closeness and affinity

to sit and wonder now –
to see in dreams –
to walk the village filled with smoke –
to smell the kettles full of stew –
to feel the frosty morning dew –
to sit in heavens place upon the earth

Copyright 2013 Mitch Battese


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