Leaving The Valley


Jane Candia Coleman

The stubborn die alone
in these vast valleys
in mountains empty
of all but the tenacious few
who, shaped by rock and sky,
prefer to die in solitude.

They're found then,
stiffened in sleep,
frozen over uneaten dinners,
curled up in pastures swept
by wings of hawks.
And always the living
clutch themselves and cry
of doctors, nursing homes,
accoutrements that should have been.

But dying is a lonely thing -
a parting of selves -
and those who choose the simple way
know best. They go forth
armed with remembrances -
red earth, yellow grass,
the startling passing over of days.

From No Roof But Sky by Jane Candia Coleman, High Plains Press.
© 1990 Jane Candia Coleman

Books by Jane Candia Coleman

No Roof but Sky: Poetry of the American West, High Plains Press.
The Red Drum: Poetry of the American West, High Plains Press.
Stories from Mesa Country, Swallow Press.
Discovering Eve: Short Stories, Swallow Press.
Moving On, Leisure Books.
Doc Holliday's Gone : A Western Duo, Five Star.
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