This is who I am,
arms crossed, braced
against the morning
cold, waiting for
the sun.

Parts of me long
to kneel
to pray, to spread
my arms
wide open in
some ancient

In my many years
on earth
I have not found
a single
that does not
or dogs, or both.

Here by the cactus
and shrub oak
all are welcome,
honored. Deer
stroll by,
a crow’s wings
stir the air,
and, yes,
from time to time
a neighbor’s dog,
tan, saunters
into morning.

Then suddenly the sun
pierces the hill
on the horizon,
as always brilliantly

And so I vow
to do my breathless
best with all
this beauty
and exuberance.

Even in winter
I stand, casual
hands in my pocket,
wool up to my eyes,
still braced against
the world.

But I come
each morning
to pray
like this, for this
is who I am.

Beate Sigriddaughter, www.sigriddaughter.net, lives in Silver City, New Mexico, where she was poet laureate from 2017 - 2019. Her poetry and prose are widely published in literary magazines, including online. Unsolicited Press published her poetry collection Emily in 2020. She posts other women's work on her blog Writing In A Woman's Voice. Read other articles by Beate, or visit Beate's website.