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

Changing churches, confessionals and saints through the centuries
Raymond A. SchrothOctober 16, 2017
It is not technology we should fear. It is ourselves.
Simcha FisherOctober 16, 2017
Catholics Against the Death Penalty-Southern California march during the 2017 Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, Calif., in February. (CNS photo/Andrew Cullen, Reuters)
“We absolutely welcome the pope’s strong statement on this issue; we welcome the moral clarity and the leadership he is showing.”
Kevin ClarkeOctober 16, 2017
“The relation between hunger and migrations can only be faced if we go to the roots of the problem.”
Gerard O'ConnellOctober 16, 2017