After the Dance



The Pueblo men

wore cottonwood wreaths,

women and children

carried heart shaped boughs

men wore skunk fur moccasins.

(Skunks love wetlands)

All danced for rain…

Tuning my heart to the drum

I still can’t escape the

feeling that cracked earth

claims body and mind.

So much yearning

for a sky full of water

It certainly fills mine…


Back home

Under Threat

the fire of the sun

burns holes in parched ground.

Even cottonwoods droop

under a waxing solstice sun –

still a week away…

Spiral dust rises

in a cloudless sky.

Where is Spring Green?

Chimisa bend low

and magenta cholla wilt.

Even cactus protest.

When clouds billow up

I ignore the signs –

I have been tricked by hope

too many times…

Falling asleep after the dance

I am awakened abruptly

startled by

rumbles of thunder.

I leap up – the cloud cover

a gift too precious to ignore.

I’ll water now…

Once outside the shifting gray skies

deadens thick heat like a blanket.

This blessed air is cool.

Not a moment to lose!

I turn on the faucet

filling buckets by hand

swiftly pouring gallons

of water on potted plants

newly planted trees

wildflower blossoms

just waiting to burst.

When the first raindrop

hits pink granite stone

amazement floods me

for I have returned

from a dance for rain –

a holy prayer sung with

rattles, bells, drums

holding the heart of a People

who walk lightly on this land,

(Giving thanks is their way of life)

I keep watering.

Soon my clothes are damp.

Feathery Chimisa spring to life.

Wildflowers uncurl tiny buds

brilliant points of yellow emerge…

And I keep watering.

This intoxicating music

is magic –

Drops of precious liquid

stream into thirty buckets.

Hummingbirds perch on bushes

to bathe and preen.

Reveling in wet wonder

falling from the clouds

desire surges through me

and is assuaged…

Taking joy in the moment –

I too give thanks

Like the dancers do

for the Cloud People’s gift of rain.