English, Department of


Date of this Version

January 2001


Published in Southwestern American Literature 27.1 (2001): 51– 53. Copyright © 2001 by the Center for the Study of the Southwest, Texas State University–San Marcos.
CSSW home: http://swrhc.txstate.edu/cssw/
SAL home: http://swrhc.txstate.edu/cssw/publications/sal.php
Used by permission.


We stand beneath a hard blue bowl, carved and polished turquoise to a flawless sheen. Well no, it's just the sky, because when I turn around, there's the bright autumn sun.

This warm October day the boys and I take the trail towards Dripping Springs, then swing north on the Crawford trail, past the ruins of the Modoc mine and mill. Beyond the mill site, the trail turns east, straight at the sheer walled mountains, passes into a boulder-choked defile and then stops abruptly at a smooth and curved cliff face--damp with a delicate trickle of water. It's a box cañon, one easy way in, and only the same way back out, the sort of place the Apaches loved to entice the guileless cavalry to enter.
. . .
home from the hike--
pockets of stones
unloaded on the table