One long arm
with hydraulic muscles of the backhoe move
like a willow limb nodding in the wind �
bite after bite
at the foot of the hillside beyond the house
and into the truck to dump down below
to smooth and roll into a pad
for a horse barn and hay.
Two flat spots where there were none.
And nothing was here, twenty-five years ago,
but the slope and the game trail between the canyons
of quail and deer, bobcats, coyotes and cattle that
stopped in the breezy shade of the two oaks
in the garden hauled, a bucket at a time,
from the highwater edge of the channel.
Old mountains left behind to now hold roots
of red tomatoes and onions, green peppers
and squash, asparagus, artichokes, and herbs �
much of which we give away.
Yesterday, we tore the old shed down, saved
the bats and one by twelve boards salvaged
from the old Bequette house down the road
to build a shelter for the generator � took
three days and worked for twenty years.
Short walk to the knoll between here and the creek
where the geldings stand with heads together
in the summer swishing flies in the shadow
of a half-cave rippled into rock
as if drawn to the form of the woman in granite
extruded from this hollow ground, echoing
under horses� hooves between the pictographs
and mortar holes of acorns, leaves and rain �
where women stayed to heal one another
by the moon � where glaciers stopped
to stack and grind large boulders round,
now thick with velvet green.
With grace, our mark will hair-over �
lost and washed from this sacred place
gathering forgotten remains.