Poems  From Tuscarora
The Tuscarora Painter Makes a Request

Will you fix the distance for me?
Hold it with a horse and rider.
They seem to know where they’re going.
Or the dust plume of a pickup,
a dilapidated building,
a fenced graveyard, the gate unhinged.

I desperately need a foreground.
Could you stand
about, say, fifty feet from me,
angled toward or turned away?
Truthfully, it doesn’t matter.
I know affection from proximity.

 Please stay.

Otherwise, I spend days staring 
at the blue-gray haze
of the Independence Range. 
The vague light, way too vague,
keeps me from my work.
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