Day's End

entry page



email contact


Day's End




Birds sing us awake. We slurp strong tea, munch toast, examine a labyrinth of canyons on the map. Three hours later, under a hot sky, we enter an unnamed canyon.

Someone says, "Look up there, on the left."

A rectangular patch of black on the sandstone cliff marks the doorway to a dwelling. One thousand years ago, the Anasazi built high to protect themselves from nomads. When we reach the ruin, their prints in the mud-mortar fixing the stones are still clear, as if the mud was pressed just yesterday.

Pottery shards and small corncobs litter the ground. Above the ruin, a human stick figure painted in ochre stands guard, to the side firewood is stacked.

Someone says, "It's as if they've just returned from the hunt."

Later, back in camp, we light our own fire. A stew simmers over hot coals, a bottle of rye passes from hand to hand.

Someone says, "Did you hear that Martin has lung cancer?"

A memory of his face emerges slowly from mind's shadow. When was he last here with us? Was there a wife? Children?

evening light –
left behind
a scatter of potshards


R. Rasmussen, Simply Haiku, 2:5, September-October, 2004.