Fast left hand

Up here on the heights
Apaches gather
among the bushes
their lines well learnt, 
the music bold
war songs

Cold dogs
abandoned bicycles 
watchers from outside
taking the long view
wait for some kind of movement
or act, or scene:
something dramatic

A lean boy, no feathers,
no arrows, 
scrambles up
a scalped tree
not even glancing at the wild cathedral –
a monument in the dead valley –
and the heat deepens, 
sucks the afternoon in

How to begin?
Smoke may rise
curtains may fall
but the whole story is never told
and prayer is confused
with laughter

The stranger
with a lightning fast left hand
pauses for a moment 
lights a cigar
and smiles