As Plain as Day

Toward Morley on the Trans-Canada highway, out of the mountains to the west of the reserve and then the foothills, passed the casino sitting blank with flashing lights and waiting on the future for its payday to come home, along the ragged asphalt watching pickup trucks on the reserve roads dragging dust clouds behind them, blanketing horses in fields that cluster against barbed wire fences, against patches of poplar trees, standing still in pasture. On my way to bridge cultures.

And now back home watching the setting sun fall with decreasing strength on the mountains and me scratching the belly of a dog laying on the floor.

I carry messages. I start fires for smoke. I am the staccato tap-tap-tap blinking of morse code. I can begin things between people and I can watch them take off. I am the mountains and this landscape, a stepping off point whose inherent value is to hold fast to the background, let the wind speak volumes and blow into the limelight, let the trees carry a voice. I sit as silent as stone.

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