In the starladen night of the Gila Wilderness
in the mountains of of New Mexico
I saw my own death creep spiderlike
and it came so close I could hear
the rumbling stomach call
across the lake and up the hillside
where once Geronimo consoled and rallied
the savaged Cherokawa.
Is it you, Goyakla, in the guise of Death
stalking while I pretend not to notice?
I see in the clear night sky
stars out numbering,
outshining, outlasting me
and I hear you, Goyakla,
whispering in the rustling grasses
of this haunted terrain.
Like the steady wind through the pine,
your voice tells me that once again
the children of men will leave
a narrow line in sand along the rim
of the Canyon’s timeless womb
while the remnant of your tribe
squats on haunches among hidden caves
to watch and wait and learn.
John S. Hatcher, A Sense of History, p. 93