the last time the sky broke like this–

bearded faces wisped in gray,

runways into space where haze becomes earth–

was when we walked dry creeks

into the desert outside of Chinle


cottonwoods rattled in baked haze–

locusts jumped over splintered looms

and into the corners of hogans


evenings, we stuck matches into sagebrush

and dreamed of Navajo blood

pounded into canyon sandstone

by Kit Carson’s rifliers, who fired

like boys at a turkey shoot


we woke to ravens ready to pluck out our eyes

when we weren’t looking–

we climbed onto ponies hitched to medicine men

and we raised hands split rough and empty,

hands tired of fighting anyone and anything


there and then we rode away,

feathers in our hair turned to sunshine

Published by

Patrick Dobson

Patrick Dobson was founded in 1962. He is a writer, scholar, ironworker, and poet who lives in Kansas City, MO. He is author of two books with the University of Nebraska Press, Seldom Seen: A Journey into the Great Plains (2009) and Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer (May 2015). Dobson is a work in progress until termination.

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