When I’m walking miles up
steep ridges and around big firs
and pinyon pines,
my back damp and legs aching,
I’m not thinking of your face
and the way you held your hands
when you laughed. 

When I’m dragging hay bales
until my fingers bleed from
the strings and my arms are 
broken like twigs,
I’m not thinking about riding
in your passenger seat
with the windows down and 
a guitar singing from the stereo.

When I’m throwing saddles
over my head onto tall mule backs,
panting hard and fast,
eyes unfocused and tired
from the early morning,
I’m not thinking of holding your hand
while we walked down
tree lined streets with iced coffees,
planning weekend getaways.

When I’m driving home
in the dark after a long day
and falling into bed, 
bones creaking and muscles limp,
I’m not thinking of the way it felt
to hang up the phone that day, 
when I said goodbye and 
you said ok. 

When I’ve finally worked
myself to death, 
maybe I won’t be
whispering your name.