Ansel Adams' Photo,
"Georgia O'Keeffe and Orville Cox,
Canyon de Chelly National Monument 1937"


Christopher Buckley

Surrounded by so little
we were unmindful of the clouds
sifting into that long wash,
that slow cut of time, as it sloughed
another of its half-bright skins.
You buttoned your jacket and leaned into the wind,
my pale wrist was a flower there, bent
toward you and the unassuming skies.

And so our plain features
just fell into agreement
with a fading world of clouds -
and behind us, the ghost riders,
our heart' white horses turning grey. The West has almost disappeared except
in films where cowboys in black and white
are as humble in their hats as we
before a far and still horizon.

And given these long ropes of clouds,
their knots of loss largely overlooked,
this might well be all of this earth
we'll recall before we're ridden out
on the spare and uncoaxed focus of the light.

From Blossoms and Bones by Christopher Buckley, Vanderbilt University Press.
© 1988 Christopher Buckley

Buy LIFEB. - American Artist Georgia O'Keeffe at her Ranch Home, 1966 (silver gelatin photograph) at
Georgia O'Keeffe at her Ranch Home, 1966 (LIFE)
John Loengard (silver gelatin photograph)
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