by Jim Papworth
The Muldoon Creek Road bounces us
across its knuckles
as we intrude;
it wants to jar our memories.
Clouds like dingy sheep
drizzle their holdings
spraying the land with contempt.
A herd of mosquitoes chokes the air,
ricochets its whine
off quaking asp,
searches the poke of skin.
The copper mine on Whitney Butte
rattle the hills
with whisperings of clutched ore .
Sage coughs its musk into summer
and stains the basin gray;
roots crawl below,
hoarding the valley’s meagerness.
Like a hungry cat in winter
the land clamps dead calves in stingy jaws-
next year’s teeth , bones, and bits of fur.
Willowwalls guard native brookies,
whose variegated bodies
with translucent fear in shadows.