I have previously mentioned that I am taking a poetry class with Lorraine Mejia-Green through the Story Circle Network. To date we have read poetry by Mary Oliver, Lucille Clifton, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Joy Harjo. Clifton has written a very interesting series of poems called Foxes. Joy Harjo’s most famous poem is about horses. My obsession seems to be pumas even though I do love horses.
My neighbor walked out her door,
found a puma lying on the lawn.
She arose and ambled off.
At night when I open my gate
I wonder if puma lurks
behind the cedar tree.
My daughter dreams puma dreams:
A puma chases her up a tree
There are no trees here big enough to climb.
A Zuni puma fetish guards my sleep.
I run with puma
I scream and howl
I hike the canyon
Stroll around my house
Look for puma tracks.
I see none.
I would rather die by puma
than in a car wreck.
I watch for eyes, blue changing to amber and back.
I put my palm, fingers stretched to measure, into the footprint.
Too small, bobcat.
My thin body squeezes between the rocks,
climbing quietly down the cliff.
Watching, listening, searching.
Pale amber rushes across my vision line.
My heart quakes.
I watch; I wait.
It is Isabella, a golden whir chasing rabbits.
At sunrise, I walk the rim.
At sunset, I walk the rim,
At night, I walk the rim,
No puma; not yet.