I live like I know what I’m doing.
When I hand the horses a square of hay,
when I walk the road of stones
or chew on cactus pulp,
there’s a drumming behind me,
the day opens up to let me pass through.
I know the truth,
how always I’m following each small sign that appears.
This sheep that materialized behind a clump of cenizo bushes
knows I didn’t see him till he raised his head.
Out here it’s impossible to be lonely.
The land walking beside you is your oldest friend,
pleasantly silent, like already you’ve told the best stories
and each of you knows how much the other made up.
"At the Seven-Mile Ranch, Comstock, Texas" by Naomi Shihab Nye. Text as published in Hugging the Jukebox: Poems (E. P. Dutton, 1982).
Art credit: "Giles Ranch Road [in Texas Hill Country] at dawn," photograph by D. K. Langford.