I went searching for Brigid in Thacker Pass on Imbolc. I almost saw her pale face on the lingering morning moon. There was a brogue – I could have sworn – in the ravens’ song before they hushed at my approach. Then, I thought I heard celtic spells in the whispers the stars made as they shimmered on the snow.

But, then I stumbled into a patch of splintered sage where men had stretched a battleship chain between two tractors and ripped up everything the cattle wouldn’t eat. Rifle shots violated the peace and shattered the silence that moments before poured from the canyon mouths. Mars, god of war, rose red as blood in the east and threw his light like a spear to pin me to the ground.

Paiute ghosts rose from the highway that paved over their burial cairns. They climbed over barbed wire fences to demand which borders my ancestors had crossed. In a language I did and did not understand, they reminded me that if I found Brigid here, I would never truly know – Nevada is much too far from my greatest grandmothers’ Irish bones.