Waiting for a Life

Waiting for a Life
In Tsegilu
In the house made of the dawn
In the house made of the evening light
Dine’ Song of the Thunderbird God

Where all of us sat, like
unruly, overgrown weeds, the path, inlayed,
as if by chance, with a scattering of unkempt benches,
peer out with that solemn look,
out to the trees on the other side
of an endless road,
face-framed like a 19th century print, our frowns as solemn
as books you wouldn’t want
to read, or if begun, lay flat on laps
as though to give assurance
that one were still alive, books tattered,
pages loose, past those dreary stores
and that antiquated city hall
where you only went to pay your dues.

Remember the march in ’64
the Three Hundred Mile March,
the women and children who stumbled along the way,
the total lack of facilities at Fort Sumner.
Five thousand of us left to freeze.

Not one of this, not one dear day,
when here I lived, not one small bit
in retrospect, seemed real, the one-armed-bandit game, aching
to be finally untied, for no more of this, this waiting
for some car beyond the path to slow, to elicit a shout, an up-stuck thumb,
and yes be on the way, no more a settled grey
Navaho blob
stuck without meaning to this bench
where no one ever comes to carve
their name or paint fuck you to the world.