A poem for Indian summer


One summer I was in Montana and young

One summer I was in Montana

working in a gift shop at the

foot of a buffalo range on a

Roman Catholic shrine

Inside was the Flatheads' Jesus

made of wood enclosed in glass

horrified in His crucifixion

rotting like nature in the

limed museum light

The buffalo spilled down the brown

hill like watermelon seeds and

I sat in the door with my

toes in the rougey dust and

told the tales of an ignorant girl.

A priest shook my hand as we

left and I carried the way it

felt with me all the way

back on the bus to

Missouri, although he never really

touched the hand of

God, I was seventeen and

aglow

In that alien land of brown grass and elk

low rusty cars without mufflers

No one shook girls’ hands

and it kept the shadowless high prairie

sun from me, North Dakota behind the

bus window glass

The drunks that sweated the pavement in

Chicago could not get to me with every

filthy finger in the city

It crossed my mind, Montana

and the respectful priest.

I did not know then that

women are left behind

To pick things up

Stay with one another

taste one another’s soup with

a hand cupped under the spoon

As adaptable as cockroaches about our

business, and we have to be

We have laundry to

pound, supplies to gather, dead bolts to secure

We are pioneers

still.

Alone in the shadowless high prairie sun

with a long season’s crops to get in.

One summer I was in Montana

Working in a gift shop at the

foot of a buffalo range on

a Roman Catholic shrine

It was June and June smells sweet

in jagged saw tooth mountains

where tall grass meadows sway

the warm wind undisturbed

Copyright RC 2016

#poetry #photography #photographyblog #RockyMountainNationalPark

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