Stories, Learning & Place

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Living in Montana
   from The Lit Window (CSU)

I have crossed lives I wanted
and left them like adolescence
to be here.
                        At sunset I leave home
and climb and stand silent, layers
of dark gathering ways I’ve not yet been.
A hunted animal,
                                I am still, my skin
listening. In twilight, barbed wire
fades.
              The only map of here
is far away, forgotten in some file
in the fluorescent office
of a coughing man.
                                      A sudden elk
below me crashes from timber and pauses,
knee-deep in meadow, then leaps
soundlessly away.
                                      Perhaps unafraid.
The sky darkens and I linger
between the stars and the safe sparkle
of valley yard lights. If I could
I’d charm the cosmos, instead
of standing stilled, outside
a circle of wagons.
                                      I practice
not wanting luck, longevity, fairness,
success—not wanting what I can’t decide.
I pause at who I am. What—like a cougar—
shifts and tenses in the night around.


Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 08/18 at 08:28 PM
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©2009 Michael L. Umphrey
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