Taking Turns

THIS WAY TO NAVAJO TACOS the little
sign directed: FRYBREAD – TAKE A TURN =>
I steered off 95 and mumbled “it’ll 
taste authentic.” I had tried to learn
as much about their ancient past, as strangers
could, explored archaic thoroughfares.
On foot alone, or camping trips with dangers,
played odd games of desert solitaire
with Rattlesnakes and Kestrels. I would practice 
blending into stone where I could pray
with yellow blooms of unforgiving cactus,
grew to love the birth and death of day.

Now I was buying food from a descendent,
living proof the ghosts I’d chased were here,
while waiting, watched a child and her attendant,
she unsteady, but she had no fear.
The tiny girl was very busy walking,
holding hands above her, towered him,
who I presumed to be her father, talking
softly, reinforcing wobbling limb.
“Is she just taking her first steps?” I queried.
“Yes, we didn’t push her much” he said.
“We figure she’ll have all her life,” he wearied,
pausing, sighed, “of walking, up ahead.”
Just then the child looked up and saw me staring,
penetrating eyes held my surprise.
The pride in them, triumphant and declaring
“I am here and its my turn to rise.”

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