She runs in the canyons
there beneath the smiles,
hidden in the miles.
Around her she throws gleams,
glints, she strews her favors in winter
like flowers cast by gathered throngs
lining her way, ostensibly cheering her on
but really just hungry for blossoms and blessings
and she looks with stark eye, assessing cost
beneath gleams, glints, under
dazzle-cast clouds hiding
and she’s striding, loping
like the lean wolf taught her
in those early years of lashing
words and cutting looks
and her fire unbreakable
burning in that flood that drowned…
it’s canyons for her
when it’s time to tap out.
They are really just the same
as the mountains that she runs
and talks about and paints pictures of
with words and heart brushes
except that no one else knows this,
or sees any difference.
She’s a true hermit, like those of old,
untouchable in this land and yet such
a product of its austere and strict demands
and she knows she’s a canyon herself,
majestic not in what remains but what is gone.
Sweat runs freely here, and carries toxins back
to their source in the sidewinders and scorpions
and stinging nettles so she doesn’t even bother
for pretty or cute and she has long ago arrived
in beautiful and assessed even that place for what it isn’t,
content with knowing what it is…
she runs in canyons, while I sit,
staring thru rain-streaked windows,
hunkered down in this Oregon deluge
so grey and green and clammy,
so ham-handed and drizzly
imitating the stony walls she runs between
and I absorb this water and channel it,
stream it, spray it against that unrelenting blue sky
that tears the rainbows right outta the water
and waves them like banners in the wind
so she can see where the pit stop is, pause, drink,
squint, wipe the sweat away
(gawd, that impossibly feminine gesture so implacably tough)
She is grit, she has sand…she runs canyons.
Much love to you this day,
from your true friend
and heart sister
Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.
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