A Land Before Time

A bobcat creeps between piñon pines
pursuing mule deer down a rocky spine,
oblivious to its sheer decline, to the canyon’s
daunting depth and size, its ageless grandeur.

A squaw squints hard against the blinding sun,
treads ancient crinoids to reach each bristlecone,
to harvest a fern bush, a sagebrush, the cliffrose,
adjusting a bark backboard to ease her childload.

Advertisement

The Piute descends through a narrow crevasse
to her riverside garden of corn and squash,
to her dug-out oven firing bricks and pots,
to her pueblo hidden under a dome of rock.

Through scattered light in the great abyss
a raven soars on an upswept gust, hunts
cat-eared squirrels and chipmunk-rats
scurrying past fossilized dinosaur tracks.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Images: CNS/Composite: America
On Nov. 11, the Catholic Church lost a moral titan in the long struggle for racial equality and justice in the United States.
Shannen Dee WilliamsNovember 22, 2017
Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar military commander-in-chief, speaks during the Union Peace Conference Aug. 31 in Naypyitaw (CNS photo/Hein Htet, EPA).
Gen. Min Aung Hlaing wields great political power in the country.
Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts in “Wonder” (CNS photo/Lionsgate). 
‘Wonder’ is a tween melodrama on a mission of mercy.
Simcha FisherNovember 22, 2017
The change was in “no way” a response to the C.C.H.D.’s persistent online critics, an archdiocesan official says.
Kevin ClarkeNovember 22, 2017