by Kitty Boots

it would do you well to honor your ancestors,
their blood flows through your veins
courage, pride,  some shame

and a violent life, survival,
told around smoky, peaty fires
rheumy eyes wink, gnarled hands pantomime

starving cattle gather in the room
maybe a calf or two will survive to replenish the herd,
maybe not

lives conceived in later winter months have a better chance
warmth, budding trees, the greening of the plains,
it will come