Who owns blue

My daughter is gathering Indian paintbrush.
Her braids swing through the scarlet bristles until 
against the hill she is just another mixture
of color. Today when I passed a beetle from my finger 
to hers, she shook it off into the brush. No naming, time
to count legs or examine thorax; it was bug, not gift.

The neighbor's mare, a cayenne sorrel, stands at the fence. 
Her neck arches over and she paws with impatience
for the girl, who runs to her as though the flannel muzzle
were talisman. Thunderheads grow over the mountain
clouds that darken near the edge of the earth—blue to purple—
the same vein that runs across my daughter's temple.

Wind pushes down the dry creek bed
and I watch the girl and horse,
heads close, taste the approaching storm. 


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