mapping

most years I sneak onto Blackfoot lands

pick the strong prairie sage and then sneak

out again, back into Salishan hands

 

but of course there's not really much sneaking

I have a car, and in the back ride my tools

old pillowcases, scissors, and scarves

 

some mason jars, red ribbons and twists

of tobacco, that kind of thing, and for me

food, water, blankets, my Kindle and computer

around my neck, hide bag, small stones, and other

 

it's the same when I curve round

foothills onto Sarcee home grasses

moving sideways up to where

I've dreamt the sweetgrass stands

 

the corner of my eye is busy

watching for something—silly

I know, but I still jump

at handprint and hoof clatter

 

those nights out done, plant bags full

and the moon rising in the rear view

over MikkiDs and Tim Hortons, back

down past Chief Mountain's black

 

expectation, to the Flathead

the Kootenai, and that long killer-road

despite the death toll at bar crossings

I can't help it—I just know I'm finally safe