Poem of the west

I watched a green-haired sloth

smoking on the porch

near the town limit sign with the cross.


Now climbing the ladder,

I ache to see the old west

before the gold rush

and before you grew so tall.


Away from summer, I should hum

the tune from my childhood zither

all red and flowered and much missed.


How did it go? Was it as fresh

as the breeze we drew our kites

up inside, funneling child laughs

and rhymes of sky castles


or did the wind that brought us here

sound of thunderous applause

for having made the journey to this valley?


I watched roads widen into

fields into oceans into planets

while the sloth smoked, tapping

the penny against the table.


If I had my zither, I would pluck

more than my flying dreams and sing

to you of rattlesnake waltzes.


This is good, remembering warmth

of old suns over young bones

as we grow longer in thought

and shrink in space.


I am an explorer hidden inside a mother

inside an afternoon of breaking skies

and beds of wild grasses.


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