If He Has to Go, Let Him Go on Horseback

At the divide my father breathes in, then out, the north wind
lifting the land under us, a sheet shaken out and laid on a bed
with the moon half full out the window.

Pines tremble along the ridgeline, creeks back up, all the world
waiting for his next breath. When it comes it carries my name with it
saying Look:
and I do—

but all I see that way is the shadow of an afternoon thunderstorm
making its way toward us, and closer in—below the river’s cleaving—
the wreckage of an old fire.