Road Closed: Naked on the Prairie

Road Closed

The road, or what once had been a road
on the prairie was etched between fields
of canola, wheat and field peas
where the dirt was exposed, the soil
was cracked from the heat of the sun

Walking along the trail with
only the company of grasshoppers
of different sizes and colours
for company, it was easy to
forget being naked, being exposed
to a chance meeting with another
human

The trail rose, curved, fell
and rose again as it approached
a valley where the nearest
habitation was too far for
its inhabitants to spy on
a naked male form etched on the skyline
against the strong rays
of an afternoon prairie sun

Movement in a field
brought a halt to the steps
which had taken on a measured rhythm
the movement, a lone pronghorn buck
that had been resting in a field of lentils
noticing the antelope and being noticed
in return in the silence and sunshine
told both of being seen
the antelope moved closer
turned sideways and then slowly walked away

For an hour walking into the sunshine,
thinking disappeared leaving only the sounds
and sensations of simply being in a time
and place, simply being
a meditative awareness of self and world
without holding on to either and
demanding, needing anything more
and then stopping to see and read
a sign that marked the end of the trail
“Road Closed.”

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