Long dark shadows in the canyons,
cattle hard to see. They don’t need us now,
heads down somewhere on the mountain,
ground too wet to help them anyway—
all the excuses I need to write poetry.
We fed hay all last year, filled the barn
three times waiting for a rain. These Christmas
storms: miracles to rejuvenate the earth
for man and beast, birds and insects,
steep hillsides begging to explode in leafy
salad greens—iridescent gifts in the sunlight,
like the old days, for years in a row that
have since gone dry and farther in between.
Nothing stays the same, just ask the skeletons
of old oaks where the natives ground acorns.