Frijoles Canyon, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, 1967
Two boys, 10 and 8 years old, on the washed-out path
along the canyon bottom following the stream up toward its mountain source
though they will come nowhere near that place that day.
Each wears sneakers and jeans and each wears a t-shirt, one striped green and blue,
the other plain solid blue. They are just plain clothes.
It is summer and,
while the creek still has water,
the air is nonetheless dry
and a little dusty. The boys walk.
And to their left they see three mule deer,
an antlered buck and his first harem, two does.
The boys stand. The deer stand.
Unsure who moved first,
both boys and deer turn to run up the canyon’s sloping north face.
The deer wish to escape the boys and
the boys are desperate to spend just a few more moments in the deer’s’ presence.
The younger boy stretches out his arms toward them as he runs.