Ghost Ranch, White Hollyhock

by David Zumwalt
From Georgia’s studio where at times
she held small pelvic bones up to see
wide blue swaths or the naked sun
a narrow mesa cut with a peak elevation
just below ten thousand feet across
our beloved sky — Clint Eastwood shot
bandidos here down from nooses —
bullets whistling past sagebrush —
I watched all his movies and bought
a shirt with his face on it — such a
beautiful untouched lonely feeling
place — Georgia had it right in her loose
fitting shirts collecting bones from
Pedernal’s feet all along — Ram’s Head
in summer — picked clean by crows —
I uncovered once after the coyotes
the skeleton of my neighbor’s cat
in Anderson’s Field — tufts of white fur
clinging to cream-colored bone —
the exactness of a thing disturbs
its aesthetic — it’s better to simplify
bones down to our interpretations
of them — their shapes and truest
colors — in Georgia’s mind a pelvis
became a window through which
from her ranch the only road
wound south among sublime rock
formations and the visible but hardly
believable distances of the still wild
west unfolded — New York she flattened
onto canvases — skyscrapers became
great rectangles of darkness but
Pedernal like a revelation stood
in marvelous color — Georgia was 98
when she died — she died near home —
her home was the mountain she knew
God had given her —