It was balmy,
a week after the first snow
of the season. Misty, foggy
first thing in the morning,
warm enough for breakfast
on the porch.
Balmy, cloudy all day
but no rain.

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Dried prairie
grasses revealed their reds
in the moist air
as Maizey and I set out late afternoon
down the west pasture
toward the oil blossom. It hadn’t occurred
to me to go up to the oil blossom
until we were almost there. Ah,
I remembered then,
critical moments when I had been propelled
to the “oil blossom,” (grandfather’s hope)
to stand atop the prairie
above the dilemmas of the moment.
(His: farming, just about every moment.)
Maizey and I climbed over and through
a fence, crossed the dry creek bed
and up the east side of the mesa
that popped up there on the plains.

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As so often happens,
the clouds that had covered the sky
all day, now parted just above the horizon
and as we sat on the north edge,
amid large lichen-covered flat stones,
looking past evergreen trees
to a pond below that still has water!
the first sunlight of the day
poured fiery light across the land,
tinging everything orange.
I didn’t spend even one moment
thinking about a pending decision.
There was too much to see—
notice,
savor—
to think.

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And that’s the magic
of the oil blossom; why
I go there
even when I don’t know I’m headed
there.
There, everything in my head
gets a break,
rests,
and clears.

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Maizey and I headed down the hill,
across the creek,
the fence,
through the scrumptious prairie grass
on our way home
below a sky exploding in outrageous color—
again; as
light on the prairie
dimmed
and this little part of Earth
stilled.