Diggin Heart

I’ve drawn a tangle of lines
on the back of my map
connecting the prairies,
deserts, basins, and ranges
we’ve all traveled from
to pursue the spines and washes
at the edge of this island wilderness,
of Jay P’s backyard

You could say we are all here as strangers
on famous land with snow
like a pile of sun-bleached elk teeth
up its early hooded mountains
but I do not believe that is true
we are not strangers

When I imagine wind
pushing into these rocks
shaping and forming them,
when I imagine everything it has ever touched
each whisker, bone, wing, branch, needle
I sense a certain kind of heart
locked within everything
permeating this landscape
and I sense the same kind of heart
within each of us this morning

Regardless of our histories
our ambitions or dreams
I see it like storm light bronzing
a flood of twitching horsebacks
paused along the fence line,
and it is why I cannot call
us strangers

So like a road, a river, or an island
I gave this heart a name,

The digging heart

Because it shovels
into the mist of our lungs
leading us to that pounding in our ears

Ben Weaver reads to the start lineup of the 2017 Gravel Pursuit