At Dawn, Sitting in My Father's House


Elizabeth Cook-Lynn


                                           I sit quietly
in the dawn; a small house in the Missouri breaks.
A coyote pads toward the timber, sleepless as I,
guilty and watchful. The birds are commenting on his
passing. Young Indian riders are here to take the old
man's gelding to be used as a pick-up horse at the
community rodeo. I feel fine. The sun rises.


                                           I see him
from the window; almost blind, he is on his hands and
knees gardening in the pale glow. A hawk, an early riser,
hoping for a careless rodent or blow snake, hangs in the wind-
current just behind the house; a signal the world is
right with itself.

                                           I see him
from the days no longer new chopping at the hard-packed
earth, mindless of the dismal rain. I hold the seeds
cupped in my hands.


                                           The sunrise nearly finished
the old man's dog stays here waiting, waiting, whines
at the door, lonesome for the gentle man who lived here. I
get up and go outside and we take the small footpath to the
flat prairie above. We may pretend.

© 1983 Elizabeth Cook-Lynn

From Seeking the House of Relatives, Blue Cloud Quarterly Press.

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