Alone Together

— Leslie Hoffman

Rory and I
on a dog-day quest for fathers unknown
her Golden Eagle soaring along Route 66
attracting attention unwanted.Disjointed memories
colliding with no rhyme
bypassed the Grand Canyon
nonstop through Navajo land
the Texas panhandle
big sky country, past
cylindrical bales of gold spun
under a flaxen Oklahoma sun.

Aunt Opal in Carnegie
distant Kiowa powwow, that night
drumming a twister warning.
shelter in Anadarko
Gladys’ cellar fit all
telling lore of bygone family.
Rory wanting to belong
disturbed history, not always wrong.

Onward to Arkansas
a diamond in the rough
through Cherokee hills
red dust and Ozark sweat.
Uncle Max on a tractor
his last summer tilling earth.
Dad, out back culling greens
only four summers more to reap.

No matter Nashville
detoured south to Broken Bow
undeterred by Choctaw thunderheads
sleuthed among soggy headstones
—none the Blackwood sought.

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