Suspicious Circumstances


Ravens found her face down, floating

in the irrigation canal up North Crow

Creek, her home below the Mission Range,


this woman who walked on her hands.

As far as anybody knows, nobody knows

what happened. No witnesses. Why is it


some have all the luck? She lost her father

at eleven, her mother at nineteen. Orphaned

in a cow-town on the rez. She raised horses


& eyebrows — her door always open to drifters,

doubters, girl friends & dogs: the big family she wanted,

craved. In what slick disguise did Death arrive that day?


Was he quiet as the stones & driftwood

she collected from the ditch, or bitter-sick

as jittery hands haunted by screams — the agony


of wicked blood? Either way, the result eddied

in debris. The vulnerable are so vulnerable: no

matter she could work a chain saw all day long,


strong as the man she was in her heart.

She never felt alone outside: clearing brush,

burning fields, walking nights through the pines.


Before or after the cold surprise, maybe

Death showed her a pasture on the other side —

some country where ravens fly & water flows.

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