As plaintive tones from a distant flute drifted across the mesa valley the sun over Spruce Tree House began its descent toward dusk.
Above the courtyard, Anasazi masons plaster-sealed the final stones on the great cylindrical tower. Collisions of mano and metate echoed across the canyon as women crushed dried kernals into cornmeal. Others hummed as their skilled hands brushed thin black patterns onto scores of newly crafted bowls and jars.
A young girl rushed up a ladder to announce her brothers' return from ripe mesa top fields, carrying baskets of fresh cut corn, squash and beans on their backs.
A summer of nourishing rain promised that storage cists would be stocked well with food for the arduous winter ahead and seed for the vernal plantings.
Dusk fell on Spruce Tree plaza as rich aromas of venison and fresh baked flatbread suffused the crisp October air.
Anasazi is the fourth poem in a cycle called Echoes from Colorado.