Acoma

 

The tourists stare, but what can they know of this?

What wisdom can they draw from the fields of stars above these houses?

What can they understand of this great rock towering over the prairie?

Of the sweep of this land when the sun is on it?

Can they feel the rivers rushing in canyons beneath the thin turf?

Or touch the still, tall grass bent with the tracks of wagons?

What can they know of voices and footfalls echoing in steep ascents?

Of moonlight, shuttered between rocky fissures on cold nights?

What can these forsaken pots and household shards

pried from the dust tell them about the old ones?

Can they extract from these things an understanding of how the sun shone?

Of how the night gathered?

Can they learn from these encumbrances how a man,

warm in the bed of his woman,

listening to crickets and coyotes,

could fall asleep knowing the spirits had spoken to him?

Knowing they were satisfied?

 

January 31, 1995

Revised March 3, 2015