Blasting a path of noise
through the forest,
not shy, arms with abandon
reach like desert plants
that feed off air,
touch their hidden source in the full day.
Witness the little victories:
finding footholds, she risks gathering speed
down hill, quick-thinking her feet to safety,
a bear-trundle run,
middle-aged and savored.
Unseen, the spirit of a young girl
looks over her shoulder at rodeo scenes,
filly friends, colts on a lead;
oh, she green broke them in their spring sillies.
She shares the forest, she knows she does
with hosts of other women who frolicked
and looked back,
acorn gatherers, homesteaders,
miners' wives and
daughters, watched from afar by cattlemen
who seldom spoke,
who distanced themselves with virgin dreams
held them up and away
like icons, like holy marys,
like mothers never naked,
clothed in expectations.