John I. Blair
Deep on the Oklahoma plains,
Where the wild Canadian sprawls
Its sandy channel half a mile
Between the tamarisk and willow,
A lone promontory dominates the breaks
Below a river crossing.
Red Bluff itís called by locals now;
Who knows what its real names were,
How it was addressed by Cheyenne,
Comanche, Kiowa, Arapaho
Racing past on painted ponies.
I think that it was frequented by them;
Iíve walked its top, high above the valley,
Heard pebbles rattle down the face,
Seen hawks that nest beneath its rim,
Touched shattered arrowheads
Dropped by scouting hunters long ago.
The breeze that sweeps across its crest
Is dusty from the Llano Estacado
Far to the west.
But no longer does it bring
A distant bisonís bellow,
Nor does the flat horizon show
Swiftly running antelope.
Thereís only wind and broken stone;
Besides, not even bone remains.
©2003 John I. Blair