1 Poems from 1996 and 1997

the end of a dusty day

we hadn’t seen anything for days
and not much of nothing either
but neither was especially surprising

riding carefully through the high desert
for there couldn’t be many left after
the last border water decimated the proxies

there’s nothing to it, he hollered back
to us, his voice echoing off the sandstone
walls, if you cut across the creek

you can get ahead of it, which is an old
hunter’s trick – getting ahead of it and
then leading it past an ambush near neither

with nothing likely to follow along behind
so we dashed out horses across the water
eyes flaming in the setting sun light

barely clearing boulders and dodging trees
galloping madly upstream to where our leader
hid in the shadows of the rare neither

waiting to pounce as we led it and
instinct pulled nothing merciless along to
a reckoning at the end of a dusty day

March 19, 1997

 

bound for reform school

i’m sure i can’t hear anything, she said
what do you suppose it’s up to now?

no good, that’s for sure, i replied cynically
anything has never been quiet
when good something good
unless that something had bad written all over it

those two are bound for reform school
she sighed, and so i felt i had to ask
do you want me to check the attic?

no, dear, it’s nothing, turning her head
it’s come home early today
and we asked it to look

November 17, 1996
Note on poem: “This was my first nothing”

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The Inner Journey North by Valerie Horton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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