Too long since we’ve walked these silent hills, climbed up from the rich black bottom lands, bright fields of winter wheat, Bent with the weight of the whole world’s need, past fences shouting —It’s mine. Keep out. Beyond the muddy year-round streams, past the last now unused gate. Along the dried creek bed, latticed limestone overhung with burr oak — twisting, broken branches tugging at our shirts. Until even the brown tipped cedars stop and the land fans out below, around, on every side. And a dry wind slips over the spikes of the prickly pear in tough, unignorable silence.
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