A BASQUE SHEEPHERDING LIFE
The sheep rise from the mountain meadow as he commands them.
Lambs rush for milk, one lamb gone in the night to a coyote.
When he sleeps, his body is quiet, his heart roams,
far from sheepherding in America.
In dream he gallops across a country and an ocean,
to his native land, the family he left behind.
With no through trail home--
only the sheep, the dog, the coyote, know him.
Aspens shake their leaves, and shimmering trees call to him--
light rises from their roots.
With a pocket-knife, he signs his name and date in soft bark,
carves a picture of himself, his dog, Rusty, a sweetheart back home.
He etches the fish he caught, the buck he hunted,
and the stars and moon at night.
Years later in an Aspen Grove, the trees say, “look,
see his markings, he had a life here.”