Holy Land

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Remember Mrs. Coates, who swore she’d keep
Us off her property at any cost?
We could feel her staring down her peep-
Sight at us while we tried to sneak across
Her stretch of gully wash. The slightest sound
Would send us running to the safety of
The river’s willows where we’d kiss the ground
And wonder how we’d ever find enough
Resolve to brave her unseen guns again.
But an afternoon of blazing sand
And hunger dulled our fears, and we’d begin
The journey home across her holy land.

I don’t think we ever saw her there,
Sitting all alone inside her cold
And shrouded house, completely unaware
Of everything but thoughts of growing old.

2/23/1984

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