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Our National Parks: Navajo National Monument
Anasazi High, Arizona*
We skip down to Tsegi Canyon
through pine and fir lit in sun
until we cross Laguna Creek
and then up Keet Seel Canyon
with its own brown and flowing
stream that we cross and re-cross
fifty times or more following the
trail until we come to a bright white
waterfall tumbling down some forty
feet onto slippery moss and algae
that covers rocks at the bottom.
From here we climb up stony ledges
in the intense heat of afternoon,
until at last we espy the ever-so-high
gleaming cliff village of Keet Seel
shining in the sun with sandstone
living quarters for one hundred-fifty
souls seven hundred years ago who
busied themselves by grinding corn
with a blunt mono on a stone metate.
They kept turkeys for feathers and
grew squash, corn and beans in
watery seeps far below their roof
of rock and woven stone as we sit
and listen to the talking spirits so alive
that canyon time becomes our own.
* Keet Seel is in Navajo National Monument, near Kayenta, AZ. Hikers wishing to journey 8 miles into Keet Seel should obtain a hiker's permit first from Navajo National Monument.