Thursday, November 09, 2006

Trading Post

Just two days before Thanksgiving, we’re still here. My bed is a futon, at the back of the Navajo Mountain Trading Post, Utah. The post has been abandoned for years. Empty display cases crowd the front of the store, but in the rear several of us sleep. Rich, his cot in the old walk-in freezer. Terry in the rug room, the rugs and saddle blankets long gone, hanging on adobe walls in Santa Fe. My own bed is next to the trader’s office, where accounts were kept: so much Blue Bird flour for so many bags of can still find the receipts in the drawers. Outside, a half-inch of snow. Next to the post is a residence, old house, full of holes. We eat there, bust up pinyon branches on the concrete floor of the living room, feed it to the stone fireplace, stone from the mountain, blocks of sandstone that the Anasazi flaked into metates. Our Navajo backhoe driver sleeps in his car, keeping his distance. We invite him in to the fire. The locals think we’re crazy, still here at Thanksgiving, digging up the Anasazi, the ancient enemy. At night, when I get up to pee I have to cross outside, across the thin corn snow to the trader’s home, across the open porch with the floor of shaped sandstone slabs. There is water on the floor where it comes in from the gaping roof, juniper beams holding up Orion.

awake at two
I step on a wet toad
in the kitchen;
all this talk of divorce
giving me ideas


Blogger John McDonald said...

enjoyed the history here jim a lovely haibun

3:19 pm  

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