A Last Drop in My Bucket List


Malheur Wildlife Refuge

Malheur, I yearn
to witness migrations,
sandhill cranes
through binoculars
aimed at wing motion,
not rifle scopes.

White militiamen seized
land white settlers seized
from the Paiutes until
Teddy Roosevelt made
a reservation
for bird kind.
to rifle flaunt.

I hear the cranes’ rattle calls,
impulses to nest and rest,
heard as far away as gunshots.
Just down a road the pick-ups
of militiamen claim
for no good but last stands,
blame, damned posturing,
blowharding into cold hands.


This range land is your land,
this range land is my land,
boot-scuffs, blind sights, rock walls,
drought dirt and arroyo grass
pulled up in the cattle’s teeth.

No one agrees where the eagle soars
any more.