Photo & Poem: Old Dog

A deliberate old dog pacing the yard fence with gray dreadlocks and a stiff stride. A mixed-breed badly constructed, a heavy body on spindly legs, but no longer content to nap. He has worn a path but remains a bit bewildered, not trusting his eyes or ears, his nose intent on the breeze. The distance … Read more

Photo & Poem: Words

“You’re not wearing that, are you?” Voicing her anxiety first, was my blouse revealing something more than unconventional taste? Welcoming me back after a long absence, “I suppose that’s real,” she moaned at my unnatural hair, her frown lingering down to my sandals. She repeated her lifelong fear that people would think I didn’t have … Read more

Photo & Poem: Sunset to Dark

Talking with her while I walk the farm, I say look what you’ve done with the new grass. Earth sends a breeze to finger the dandelion fluff balls, a few seeds released. I wonder if she’s forgotten the elm tree, twigs barren of leaves so late in the spring. The growling sound of the four-wheeler … Read more

Photo & Poem: Slap Hands

Sit next to Jack, she said. Mother’s youngest brother on leave from the Army at our kitchen table. He pinched me hello and continued his story, laughing too loud at his own jokes. The center of attention with a can of beer and a full ashtray. Oily-skin handsome, Jack goaded me into the game, his … Read more

Photo & Poem: Soundness

Centering myself behind the horse as he walks away, bent forward with my hands on my knees, staring his hips for unevenness. Listening to his footfalls. Knowing he isn’t quite right, I follow a few steps behind. He’s off but it doesn’t show every stride. The gelding knows I’m watching and the awareness changes his … Read more

Photo and Poem: Spring Thaw

  The air hung heavy, strangely moist for a desert prairie. Dense fog as rare as raindrops. The ice on the pond began to sweat; it’s been frozen silent for months but slowly water eased at the shore, the weathered gray ice giving way to a fresh surface to mirror the sky, signaling birds they … Read more

Photo & Poem: Two Women

I had the window seat on an early morning flight to Tucson. In the row ahead were two women. I could see through the slender gap between headrests to the dark-haired woman on the aisle. She twisted toward her companion, her eyes animated, so young. Over the headrest, I could just see the crown of … Read more

Photo & Poem: Coyote Run

Ancient mountains send coarse sand and sharp stone down, just pebbles at a time, to leave us unsteady on our feet, before rolling past us, into dry washes rough-cut across this red desert. On the ebb of cool wind, the voices of women, whispers as loud as shouts, are carried on the tongues of coyotes … Read more

Photo & Poem: Pride

She has no time for gentle words and soft hands primping her mane. The broad-chested mare may allow a stiff curry in the itchy season, but she would rather throw herself on the ground to rub the loose hair off on a crust of spring snow and cool mud, leaping in air to gallop away, … Read more

Photo & Poem: Hunger Moon

Fresh snow fell yesterday and more will come tomorrow, but in the still between-time, a full moon sits high in the sky, casting steely shapes on the ground, dimly lit to a haunted gray pallor. Unnatural colors that did scare me as a girl, when my shadow chased me for sport. Turn away from the … Read more