Prairie Poetry   
  Corps Of Discovery

Climbing across the bluffs we know how to lose
our footing and fall to our deaths in the river below.

At night, snuffing out fires to avoid predators,
we feel the jagged edge of the bobcat's tooth.

Looking up to find we are alone in the dense grass,
we know Adam's terror sweat as he awoke from sleep.

Pulling off our boots around the fire and popping boils,
we step inside the grave and smell the rot.

In dreams, our legs and arms become snakes
that bite us that we may distrust our own bodies.

Weighted by packs and bent double by cramps,
we drop into swamp that we may know humility.

Writing entries by firelight, I let the gray spider live
as it crawls across my pages to prove my humanity.

  Thomas Reynolds
  Copyright © 2004 Thomas Reynolds
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