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Above the Old Barn 

Blasting a path of noise

through the forest,

not shy, arms with abandon

reach like desert plants

that feed off air,

drink vapor,

touch their hidden source in the full day.

Witness the little victories:

finding footholds, she risks gathering speed

down hill, quick-thinking her feet to safety,

a bear-trundle run,

middle-aged and savored.

Unseen, the spirit of a young girl

deer-leaps ahead

looks over her shoulder at rodeo scenes,

filly friends, colts on a lead;

oh, she green broke them in their spring sillies.

She shares the forest, she knows she does

with hosts of other women who frolicked

and looked back,

acorn gatherers, homesteaders,

miners' wives and

daughters, watched from afar by cattlemen

who seldom spoke,

who distanced themselves with virgin dreams

held them up and away

like icons, like holy marys,

like mothers never naked,

clothed in expectations.

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Tamara Jenkinson

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