You others, we the very old have a country.
                        A passport costs everything there is.

                              – William Stafford (“Waiting in Line”)

Circles mapped to save steps on sure ground,
well-worn routine from barn to mangers,
feed and irrigate with the right tools

to mend our presence along the way—few
loose pages nowadays, at the ready—gathers
to brand and wean replayed, filed by pasture.

I remember the old dogs refreshing scent posts
in the last of the light before they slept
into forever, and all the old horses in the dark

nosing buckets trying to bring the sun—
and my father’s careful words, after awhile,
you have to get used to not being first in line.


10 responses to “AFTER AWHILE

  1. I love to come here to feel transported to the West.



  2. Your metaphors are so rich. I especially like “…all the old horses in the dark/nosing buckets trying to bring the sun – “

    Liked by 1 person

  3. John – neither of us have been first in line for some time now…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right. And isn’t it nice not to have to be. How are you?


      • Doing good, John. Cattle prices up and working on a book – kind of an extension to Blood Trails – which by the way would have not ever been written without your help and encouragement. Keep up the good work! Later, Bill


  4. Excellent, vivid, moving, and resonant. Thank you, John.

    Liked by 1 person

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