The Veil

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The canyon was flooded

so I found myself

leaning against the tailgate of the truck,

pulling on my waders, setting up my

fly rod after another drive through the

mountains to fish wider waters

in open country. Out across the field

sweeping away from the lake there knelt

an old antelope, folding his legs

under himself to rest. He became still, perhaps

to smell the sage as a medicine of God or

to wait for all of the world to

leave his mind. I thought of his life

being long and sometimes hard, of his loves,

those here and those gone,

of how many he might have fathered

onto this vast plain. I thought of how

he wintered in the open, on the

darker nights, in the deeper snows. For a

moment I wondered if this were

his dying time, like an old Lakota

who might lie down under the

shade of a tree and close his eyes. I’ve

seen dogs do this, wandering

away from the house, sleeping in

tall grass and refusing to be called

in for dinner. I thought of how

all the living things of earth

surrender, though not easily

the conscious. The antelope was not

finished for when I returned to the truck

he had walked off, or perhaps just

diffused through the veil that tosses

in our most restless dreams.

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2 thoughts on “The Veil

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