He was mostly gentle, mostly kind
calling to the horses as no other could,
The bay's ears twitching, rising, the cranky dun
lifting its head and the dapple gray coming to
greet him at a gallop, muzzle lined with
a thin green lather. He would ride out
with the first changing sky of the morning,
following clouds of dust into the grasslands,
relentless in his search for the grizzlies,
Gray Wolf, or a few stray cattle.
I lived there on the other side of the mountain,
brewing my potions of corn and cactus by day,
riding my sorrel mare to the crest of red rock
before evening, hoping to be spotted. His eyes
though were always fixed on the hills,
through the snows and the season of rushes, and
when the hawk returned slowly over the valley
scanning in singular precision.
In the beginning my voice was strong.
I would sing for him, and again the horses
would prick their ears, shake tangled manes,
nicker. He never heard me. He heard the horses
calling to him, and pounding hoofbeats, and a
long slow whistle that could be coming