Already we prepare for war, hang
Irish Spring in orchard trees, clear
the battlefield of weeds before
their green turns brown as the latest
batch of baby ground squirrels
watch from the granite outcrops, little
heads peering from our uphill bleachers.
We cheer the appetites of hawks,
eagles and crows, their hungry, noisy
and nested young waiting on a thatch
of twigs, open-mouthed—even
the rattlesnakes these easy swallows.
We clean the .22 and pellet gun.
There is no talk of peace, sagging
hog-wire a poor border to defend,
to hold when we’re away at work
to satisfy the costs of living where
we will always be the intruders.