The Tao Of Llano
by Darla McBryde

The sun bleached sky is
lost somewhere behind an iChing
of contrails and hexagrams
the granite womb has withered
rivers once too high to cross
can no longer quench the thirst
of limestone's hollow bones

my mother hides in these Baptist hills
carrying a bouquet of bluebonnets and sin
I heard her singing in the cemetery
when the Sunday mist was deep and gray
I walk among these monuments and markers
which stand proud like bottles of family wine
vintages etched in moss on stone

Old vineyards hang on, grapes stubborn
as the dark side of the moon
my people stopped here and could go no farther
the water ruled then, allowing no bridges, no dams
My mother thinks she’s hiding in these hills
but the trees have captured her scent
keeping me true to her path

An owl flew up from out of the crumbling school house
Mother’s small footsteps still sounding on the pebbles in the yard
The owl came straight at me on a silent rush of wings

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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