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Montana, 1958, California, 2014

Windy sky blew a memory my way,
long ago family visit to Montana:
horseback riding with my ten-year-old cousin
Tony, born cowboy, rounding up strayed cattle;
long green grass, narrow streams
swimming with fish, huge sky overhead.

Afterward, back to my aunt and uncle’s home;
my aunt cooking supper
for family and ranch hands;
my uncle, foreman of the ranch, with stories
of life on the range; family one short:
Tony’s much older brother,
not cut out for cowboy life,
already off to the city.

Never saw them again; in my mind,
they are still in Montana that day
of glorious summer,
even though snow fell
two weeks later, and some years after,
they moved to a ranch in Nevada.
Long gone, my aunt and uncle,
none of my cousins know where Tony
is; I hope beneath a wide blue sky.

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