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by – Ben Weaver

I’ve drawn a tangle of lines
on the back of my map
connecting the prairies,
deserts, basins, and ranges
we’ve all traveled from
to pursue the spines and washes
at the edge of this island wilderness,
of Jay P’s backyard

You could say we are all here as strangers
on famous land with snow
like a pile of sun bleached elk teeth
up its early hooded mountains
but I do not believe that is true
we are not strangers

When I imagine wind
pushing into these rocks
shaping and forming them,
when I imagine everything it has ever touched
each whisker, bone, wing, branch, needle
I sense a certain kind of heart
locked within everything
permeating this landscape
each of us this morning

Regardless of our histories
our ambitions or dreams
I see it like storm light bronzing
a flood of twitching horsebacks
paused along the fence line,
and it is why I cannot call
us strangers

So like a road, a river, or an island
I gave this heart a name,

The digging heart

Because it shovels
into the mist of our lungs
leading us to that pounding in our ears
digs into our dreams lifting out
lightning bolts pointing to the next turn
digs into our fears and keeps digging
because if humble there is no bottom

They brought us all here,
these digging hearts
they are half wild and resisting domestication
they want to go on forever up the fire roads
they are flames piercing all kinds of darkness
in the frozen ruts,
burned and restored
beyond their own limits

These digging hearts pull a thread
through our stories
they make us a community of adventurers
rather than lone lost conquerors
may we never stop feeding them
may they never stop digging
never stop pushing us to our infinite limits,
may we all be unified in this pursuit
at the edge of this island wilderness,
in Jay P’s backyard
may we all ride forward

#Ride Forward