With Horsehairs Dipped in Oils

 

My wife’s green eyes are jade and rainbows.

With horsehairs dipped in oils,

she brushes corrals and cattle on canvas,

the burnt sienna sand and pastures of our boots.

Combing October lawns like yarn,

we heap dry leaves on flames that float away.

Friends disappear, and nothing we do

could save them. We store the rakes

away from pups gnawing our gloves.

 

Rocking, we watch them sniff the yard

for bones the old dog buried. We watch smoke

drifting east toward slow whirlpools of wings.

A neighbor’s tin roof shimmers.

Prairie cattle go mad when the wind dies.

They stomp, lashing their tails at horseflies.

We survive hardscrabble drought

like spiders that spin their webs in wind

and anchor them to thorns.

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