Of Stone and Walking


I descend from the men of stone and walking,
men who labored to haul the rock from canyons,
men who argued with sons and knew their whiskey,
men of departure.

I descend from the men of digging furrows,
men who planted potatoes, squash and onions,
men who carried a gun and took their losses,
men of conviction.

I descend from the men of rustling cattle,
men who traveled until a woman withered,
men who squandered their time in search of fortune,
men out of cadence.

Malinda Miller is the director of news and media relations at the University of Colorado Boulder, an instructor for the Lighthouse Young Writers Program, and a visiting artist for Poetry Outloud. She feels most at home at the top of Weston Pass in Colorado or in the Nevada desert where her family has a ranch just off Highway 50, named by Life Magazine as the Loneliest Highway in America. Previously an associate editor at Many Mountains Moving, her poetry and nonfiction has appeared in A Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado Life Magazine, the Mountain Gazette, the Coloradan, and others. She has a MFA in poetry from Western State Colorado University and a MA in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder.

I descend from the men of stone and walking,