October 14, 2013
dedicated to us women
trackers at Oceansong
the buck rut, 1992
I heard the huffs wide-eyed:
huge male animals, posturing,
shuffling with their ungulate toes.
The antlers together sounded beautiful,
awoken and alive outside at the ecotone
by that powerful rhythm, and passion.
She'll let you come close now, into her
lovely dark eyes and neck of soft fur
the same color as our dry season.
I was there, a young woman
with others to talk about before
Columbus, before the gold fiends
before ranchers killed the mountain
lions and grizzly, and who are scared
still how soon it'll fall apart and burn.
We organized and fundraised for
the other quincentennial stories,
because of fierce compassion for life.
I wish that this poem could be an adventure
where my family works on a ship to meet friends
at the mediterranean shore of a rustic fishing village.
But instead my mind won't stop it already about all
the needless suffering and how the oak trees are dying.
I'll think back twenty-one years and make up a riddle about
that moment when it was no longer complicated or confusing,
why mothers have "too many" babies, why guns are everywhere:
Ask who has the most to lose by change and there lies the answer.
photo above: Angel Island 5.12.13