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Laura Sobbott Ross

   

Sixteen Miles from Buffalo, Wyoming

The word wing opens into Wyoming—
a landscape of wind and sky,
where black cottonwoods loosen
with shredded cloud. An ancient sea

left these undulations in the horizon,
tucked fossils into the sandy hemline
of the Bighorn Mountains. Ravaged
remnants, scarp and shadow. Elements
that burn with ten thousand years
of winter. This summer solstice—

a startling of wildflowers,
the torque of river rush melded
with glaciers’ snowy veins.
We climb horses like hills—
nub and sheen, June rising warm
beneath tooled leather, windblown
manes, lavender-scented sagebrush.
We hear there’s a ghost in the ranch house

where we’re staying and wonder why
she can’t find her way out. Maybe
it’s the continuum of one vastness
into another. This blue ocean of sky,
fathomless and riveting to its earthen floor
more than shell and bone, but spirits
burdened beyond hardships of season,
solitude, the howl of hunger—every
longing resonant with ponderous space.

  

  

Laura Sobbott Ross was nominated for a Pushcart Prize this year and last, and her poetry appears or is forthcoming in The Columbia Review, Natural Bridge, Tar River Poetry, Slow Trains, and The Caribbean Writer, among others. She was recently named a finalist in the Creekwalker Poetry Prize, and a semi-finalist in the Black Lawrence Press Chapbook Contest.
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