Haibun Today

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 5, Number 4, December 2011

Marian Olson
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA


Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

We park our car and cluster around the guide who will show us Chaco Canyon before the day turns into an oven. Why did the Anasazi choose this barren, parched place? We want to know the reason the National Forest Service doesn't take better care of the ruins, protect this historical treasure. Our soft-spoken guide says Pueblo Indians honor the rhythms of life. The idea of preservation is unnatural. Made of mud, adobe dwellings return to mud; that is the cycle.

A breeze flips around me as I filter the guide's words and try to see with Indian eyes, beyond my culture with its linear concept of time and space. Wandering off, I run my hand along an ancient adobe wall. It is rough and warm. Stepping inside, I try to imagine what it was like to have lived here.

alone in the room—
a warm breath
brushes my arm


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