Tail That’s Light

by Henry Real Bird

read poem
Tail That’s Light

Riding on fresh snow
that’s been falling for several days.
The ground is white
with sagebrush tips sticking out.
Riding through snow, it’s quiet.
Where a river goes, the trees are black,
the ground is white.
Where there are pine trees
it’s blue, almost black,
and still further beyond
Wolf Teeth Mountain’s pine trees are darker still.
There’s nothing but the cold wind
looking like smoke.
Ash trees, where they’re thick,
it is black.
Gray, I’m riding, his breath is white
Gray, ground, he is like this day.
My song, I’m singing
as I’m looking around
where the sun appears
pink peeps out of the blue sky.
Going to get many horses.
Riding Gray, they won’t see me
in white, gray, blue, black winter day.
My song, I’m singing.

© 2013, Henry Real Bird, from Wolf Teeth

HENRY REAL BIRD is a rancher and educator who raises bucking horses on Yellow Leggins Creek in the Wolf Teeth Mountains of Montana. He was born and raised on the Crow Indian Reservation in the tradition of the Crow by his grandparents, Mark and Florence Real Bird, and obtained a Master’s degree in general education. Real Bird has punched cows, worked in rodeos and taught school from kindergarten to college level. He speaks Crow as his primary language, and he feels that has helped his writing. In 2010, while serving as Poet Laureate of Montana, Real Bird rode horseback halfway across the state handing out books of poetry along the way.