Patricia Frolander

Father when You call

let me be
feeding horses in the big pasture
at five below zero
inhaling scent of alfalfa, breath frosting eyelashes
years written on my face
not in my heart

or let me be
fencing in the west pasture
pulling up wire from pungent earth
where snow bent its back
tightening each strand against errant calf,
while meadowlarks greet springtime's blush

or let me be
gathering in the hills
content to drink from a battered canteen
the sweetest water in Crook County
my heeler quick to roust the cow from brush,
my mare eager to turn a stray

or let me be
sleeping in the old ranch house
next to my partner
whose gentle snores match my own,
arthritic hands joined
horse-miles and hay-miles behind us

Patricia Frolander
Sundance, Wyoming
PATRICIA FROLANDER, 67, Sundance, newcomer who won the 2009 National Senior Poet Laureate Award, is a rancher who says, “My writing is a reflection of the pleasure and pain found in this profession and living closely to my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.” Sign: Sagittarius.