Shaun T. Griffin lives at the Western edge of the Great Basin with his family. Recently, he wrote in his journal, "Joyce's face keeps looking up at me from the dresser, plaintively, asking, `Why are you working so hard and getting so little writing done?'" A previous contributor to Weber Studies and winner of the O. Marvin Lewis Award (2001), his latest book is The River Underground, an anthology of Nevada fiction. Other work by Shaun T. Griffin published in Weber Studies can be seen at: Poetry Vol. 11.3 "I Am More Afraid of Wind than Rain—of Travel, Poetry, and Sons," Vol. 16.1, "From the Ash of Human Feeling—Teaching Poetry Behind the Fence," Vol. 18.2, and "Letter From the Blackstone River: Under Fog with the Porcupine Caribou," Vol. 22.2.
Wishing the Antelope Herd
for Robert Reid
Wishing the antelope herd in a snowfield
saved from silence, their torsos halved
to white and sunset brown,
hoof-prints locked in the day-marrow of hunger,
we slip the wheatgrass on wheels,
the last antelopes bounce into view,
my boys dusted in the Chevy like spiders,
a mother and two fawns, as lithe a feet I've seen
skip the sage to leave us,
barreling roads to hide the West,
I never hope to say the end again,
this first month of a new decade
almost unlived, the antelope wishing
already begun for us, for them.
First Light on the Flowery Range
for the face on the ridge-line
I read in the shadow of the Sleeping
Indian. Would he approve?
I do not think there is a bow
to measure such an act.
I am reading the wounded
spring of silence.
The Wishbone of She
Into the milky light of September
she flew, pale jeans, rough shirt,
and nails bitten to flesh.
Her eyes, hinged with tears,
the pantry no longer a cure.
When they tell me, I'm hungry—
she blurted, as if
it were an address.
The power gone, the car
a smoking taillight and who
to knock on their behalf?
In the field of a small town
there is no roof on which to lie;
one must never die.
And whispers nearly come
to eat from the door, on this
the second day of autumn.
The crucifix of bony men
plays out once more. There is
temptation to recede,
but she cannot let
her children see: under
the mantle of mother
to the wishbone of she.