North on I-25

Poem: North on I-25 by Linda Whittenberg.
Published in New Mexico Review of Poetry, Fall 2009, and Tender Harvest.

Photograph - "Cowboy With Cross" by Teri Thomson Randall

I always look for the ranch, the one by the river—
angel-winged cottonwoods watching
over white two-story house,
substantial red barn, outbuildings like scattered blocks,
cattle settled in shade.
Generations are brought into ranch life
the way colts learn to take the saddle—sturdy hands
braid a child’s hair, hold the reins,
secure clove hitch in a rope
— what it takes to hold this place together.