Joe Carriere

Ode to a Little Girl Holding a Balloon as She Looks Out Beyond the Edge of Laguna Pueblo

Nothing lasts forever. I will remember this
when I recall the brief souvenir slowly burnt into my calves
as I stood at a stone wall, watching the eagles dance
with the butterflies in the sun

On a shaded table, a buffalo is exhibited, for sale—
shaped from stone, palled likeness of the slaughtered stupendous,
mere relic of herds who shook the land
when the dance was young and free

As I leave, I try to see—the crowds are shrinking,
curious visitors, as I am, carrying clay or turquoise curiosities
from tents to cars, sunlight glinting from the interstate
where a sign proclaims a "SCENIC VIEW"

But I am struck, now lost in my own footsteps,
when a mylar sheen flashes against the distant stone horizon
and I see her, holding the dance on a string in the breeze,
atop the world, peaceful,

                        able to grasp a world
                     that has not yet floated away

Joe Carriere

JOE CARRIERE earned his B.A. in English from Xavier University in 2012. He currently lives and teaches literature and writing on the Navajo Nation, where he also enjoys hiking canyons, parks, and more-hidden paths, or even just walking past the Denny's up the road.

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