The morning’s stillness is snapped
The doe stops grazing
& facing the direction
the sound came from
snaps to attention
Ears up eyes piercing
as a coyote steps into the open
The doe snorts
a few times then charges
The Coyote turns on the speed
looking back almost longingly
for a moment
just before entering the woods
Only a mountain lion
or a black bear
would do anything
but clear out
when she’s like this.
Something about a fawn
gives a doe
a special supply of fearlessness
This is the land of the Indian Paintbrush,
a place with more centuries than the days of Man.
At sunset there falls onto this land a wonderful desolation.
Slanting sunlight turns arroyos to black
currents in a sea of tall, yellow grass,
and gold dust swirls on silver winds to weave the strands of night.
It is a glimpse of eternity:
a coveted moment of awareness between the Within and unconfined Beyond.
I sit high upon an outcrop pondering a death worth mentioning.
Not long ago across this vast plain hunted men touched by the pathos of their quarry.
With ritual and travail they purified themselves in preparation of the chase.
For in the dark reality of life eating life
the blood of sustenance must be cleansed in reverence.
They hunted in awe.
They killed with remorse.
And they celebrated success with thanksgiving, not to God, but to the animals they killed.
Then came a migration of humanity
disconnected from earth,
singing the metaphor of Genesis, and taking what cannot be owned.
These also hunted.
But there was no reverence in the eyes peering over the white man’s rifles.
The migration continues with an army of hunters.
They shoot from trucks into herds of confused antelope.
At night they lift a beer and toast the hunt.
But no one speaks of the young doe
gut-shot and running until tripping in her own entrails.
Lying now in the dust.
Gone with the sun.
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