The jokes come snowmelt easy,
off the Rubies, cloudy runoff rising
down the South Fork as we grin
into wind gusts like pickup pups,
slit-eyes watering in a light rain.
I haven’t time to trace
how I found my way
to this strange country –
under sea undulations
with dirt road ruts
forking in the thatches
of willows swelling with bud,
where naked cottonwoods play
dead along the bottoms
of the high desert in May.
A quick language of quips, unrefined
and unfinished sentences sprinkled
with double-entendres, flashing eyes
locking, laughing just long enough
to chase the cold river downstream.
No longer lean boys looking for adventure,
we raise families to respect fate, to find
their rhythm on any landscape, to learn
our gods have no bounds, sympathetic
most to those who do for themselves.
It could be foreign gibberish, a lost
native tongue, stirring coals, throwing
sticks upon the fire between us – that
rare communion of common souls
where almost Anyman can be a comedian.
for Tom, Sharon & Travis