Down the Sierra’s spine,
they sneak-in and loom,
cumulus over the ridgeline.
No storm clouds, but friendly.
We know now we’ll never be
the same, never assume
green feed and water
always. We will pray
in our own way, kneel
before the cotyledons
breaking through the clay,
stare rain in the eyes.
And when the chant of pagans
sing, we will make love within
soft petals of wildflowers.
Black and brazen, the crows light close
to harvest nests in this speck of green
upon miles of dry and dusty brown as if
they own it—as if they labored here.
After last year’s cherry crop, Golden
Orioles homestead the Palo Verde tree.
In a patch of yellow monkeyflowers,
cottontails and quail cue up at the leaky
water trough, not a drop goes to waste.