Sunset Woman's Ivy League Escape


Roberta D. Joe

Sunset Woman figured it this way:
If she climbed the granite hill
she could rest
on top
pleased to
flagged down
just one sunset
on its way back
to New Mexico.

Her feet slid over dull layers of thick, decaying leaves.
She smelled Fall, a heavy autumn blanket with unfamiliar folds.
She could not feel the earth.

Her heart stung and hurt in dry alien snow.
She tasted Winter, choking whiteness, bitter with prejudice.
She could not cleanse with this water.

Her hands missed texture in the pungent green.
She felt Spring, an unbearable forest watching with disapproval.
She could not touch her history.

Her eyes saw no orange horizon fire in the saturated days.
She saw Summer, an evaporating mist without shape.
She could not see The West.

She figured it this way:
New England
is no place
for a hitch-hiking Sunset Woman.

From Storm Pattern: Poems from Two Navajo Women by Della Frank and Roberta D. Joe,
Navajo Community College Press
© 1993 Roberta D. Joe
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