I Asked… (Poem)

Valley of Gods
Photo by John Gregor/ColdSnap Photography.

I Asked…

By Jason Nez

I asked,
Where did I come from?
She spent a lifetime telling me,
Hiding secrets in the desert for me to find.
I would find them,
On rocks,
Whispered from solitary trees in the desert,
Sung by the waters early in the morning.

I sat with gray hair listening,
For I could not hear her language.
I heard it from cattle,
I saw it in the dance of desert horses,
I felt it while laying among desert grass.

Coyote made me laugh about it over beer.
He left me there at the bar with the old ladies and no ride home,
And ran off with some college girl and my old mustang…
He even took my hat and told people he was me.

I ask when I wake up alone in the dark and listen to the cars on the freeway
No one answers
I went to listen to the cattle,
I went to dance with the desert horses,
I went to lay among the desert grass,
I ask

–Jason Nez is a Diné archeologist, rancher, and artist from Coalmine Mesa, Arizona. More of his writing can be found on his website, Nez on the Rez.