Lori Took a Seat in the Kiva

She heard the wind
skim over the mesa
and drop a little dust
through the opening.

This was not a trespass
of a national park treasure
or an invitation
on to the reservation.

Some white man with money
built a retreat and conference halls
far enough from the city
so the city lights did not dim the stars.

Alone with a rectangle of noon light
she sat on the stone paved floor
with her back against the wall
and thought about killing conquistadors.

This was the effect of reading
about Juan de Oñate
and his bloody determination
to end revolts and uprisings.

The light dimmed as a border collie
poked its head in the opening
above the ladder
and Lori looked up.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Compressed Ash

The drought was plague enough.
Then the pandemic arrived.

National parks taken for granted before
overflowed with local visitors.

Our favorite hikes grew so crowded
we took to obscure trails.

Up and up and up the southeast canyon wall
over three dozen switchbacks.

The pack I wore contained a small lunch
and four water bottles.

We studied up close the mineral beauty
of dry spill-ways down scratchy tuff.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney