In the Turn of a Phrase

/ /

It always seemed to me you emerged from a haze, hid yourself in a thousand ways, revealed yourself in the turn of a phrase, those eyes of yours blue as grief and strangely ablaze. Ah,

Montana, Oh, Ma James. Brutally true and mountain made, you befriended me, one foot in the stirrup, one eyebrow raised, rooted in mercy and earthly complaint, perhaps the way a mantis

or minotaur would pray. I’m not surprised you left this place in much the same way— emerging from the smoke and haze, one foot in the grave, a shot of whiskey raised, grounded

in grit and deep in praise, the sister to the doe in the yard , the unknown poet with the broken heart, and all things born tender and hard. The shawl you depended on

around your frame, you’ve quietly stepped out of this maze, bewitched by beauty and hardly phased — just another star in the night, ablaze.

Oh Montana, Ah Ma James.