Sunday, July 3, 2022

Nut Mountain

A body and words together
Decided to go foraging
For subsistence on Nut Mountain.

They promised to share what they found,
A promise easy for the words,
Who felt longing but not hunger,

But hard on the body, who lived.
And when the body found a prize,
A pine nut as big as a fist

That somehow the scrub jays had missed,
Body greedily gulped it down
Without thinking to share a bit

And right away started to choke.
Luckily, a few words escaped
Body’s quickly constricting throat,

And they hopped in the truck
And drove to find help or water.
When body’s words spotted a well,

Its old windmill spinning slowly
Beside a wooden cattle trough,
They drove up close and yelled and yelled

Until a passing pronghorn asked
What the trouble was. Words explained
In the best language that they had.

Pronghorn said it could help, but first
Words had to go get enough rope
To drop a bucket in the well.

So words roared off to fetch some rope.
They pulled up at an old ranch house
And politely inquired inside.

An old cowboy said he had rope
But he’d lost the keys to his shed.
Bust the door, and it’s yours, he said.

Cowboy watched from the porch as words
Ransacked his battered shed for rope
Then roared off in a cloud of dust,

Back to the well, where the pronghorn
Hooked the bucket up to the rope
And the rope to its horns and pulled.

With the water in back, the words
Tore off for Nut Mountain, as fast
As the truck could be made to go,

But the words made it back too late
And body had long ago choked.
So the words mourned by the body

With the old well water for tears
And the dusty truck for a tomb,
Until the words themselves were stone.

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