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Truly a dreamer’s moon tonight, half-full riding high beneath wrinkled pale taffeta cloud ribbons– Tess and I come home over the dark water, the Poudre River, the back way, no through traffic signs everywhere.

Ninety again today and when the house cooled I was civil and we sat by candlelight dancing in language, one saying something, the other responding, the cream-colored kittens put away, each dog bedded down–

And goodnight now means out into the cooling haze, someone’s hay down so that the air is perfumed with alfalfa, the road stretching away from the eye and the headlights piercing, catching a cyclist’s light, lights tangled and I push on down the back streets, the BBC on the radio murmuring sad conclusions, civility against red fire and screaming, bodies melting on pavement.

Out of the car grabbing the bag with paper towels, the walker, the pack goes on the back, the dog on her leash and the strong leg leading, the bad leg following, one two three four, and up to the front door, the key in the lock, the door swinging open: home and the small pewter lamp with a milk glass chimney  yes, a doll’s  half-elated face in the old wicker rocker.

The night is July and the time is uncertain and Brahms is right, Ma and Ax, in a dance, the bow drawn over the strings and ascending of the sweet deep sound made from wood and the glittering riffs of the piano I would close my eyes but I have just come home.

ii

I am urging the tired horse of being over the last few hills of the moonscape, my last desert run across the plain of the past; my throat is dry, my horse stumbles.  The hands on the keys gathering chords, the cello singing to the hands, the heart:

A mind in the body’s nave,  next door the facility and the wheezing of a respirator, Eva mopping the floor in everlasting patience with the milk and pudding spills.  But don’t think of it don’t go back there yet; instead, think of the white eye of the moon watching the woman riding a horse come home, leaping over the signs that say no through traffic, the comfort of the candle and the talk and the sweet green darkness, the road we have driven for half a century is it true.

Has it been that long since I made love, or went out on the town, to the dance hall and the guitars, a Mexican pulling me from the seat to the floor, Pocito Mas and the blaring saxophone, so long.  He gave me a rose and I put it in my hair and we polka’d together.  He wore a suit and a gentleman’s stetson, a handlebar mustache; he was small and thin and I am voluptuous and tall.

Long are the hours of the July night; the sprinklers hiss at 2 a.m. soaking in the bluegrass seed where I have tried to patch the stains left by my dog when I thought she was too old to make stains.  Long the hours after anger flared and abated today, with the heat, the hot hot men in the helmets along the road, no through traffic.  Gunfire in the barrio, the burrito truck listing at the side of the road, a bust, INS,–an ambulance, and we make way.

From the first chapter to the last: foxes routed by the prairie fire and today someone’s house foreclosed on, owner immolating herself and her children.  My great grandmother’s funeral and the movement from the New World Symphony everyone calls “Going Home”– that thin melody caressing…my hands on the wheel, eyes steady, mind crowded, ribbons of film unwinding, bits of negatives sifting down like black snow on the road

Goodnight moon, the ivory slope of the breast, she/we need attention:  the bread is dry but it is mine own, here, home, I companion myself.

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