Caja Del Rio.Poem. Don Mciver.



The wind picks up.   Encased in a tent, I’m attached to a kite

about to take flight,

and tonight I’m thankful for plastic.


The rain fly strains at the sown straps, tent stakes, and plastic snaps,

and I, tucked inside, watch the walls bend and  buckle,

then snap back in place.


Dry, I peek out the transparent screen knowing the low clouds

reflecting the city lights of Santa Fe,

make the plateau a dull gray as a smattering of raindrops fall.


In the morning, green grass, white cactus flower,

Indian Paintbrush, brown volcanic rock,

and two unknown peaks, bathed in morning light, frame us as we pack up.


The wind picks up.  On my bike, I’m attached to my bike pedals by shoes,

and my legs push at the pedals

and today I’m thankful for muscle.


All the guidebooks suggested I might see horses,

but we don’t and find our way back to the road

and set out towards our car.  


How much personal space must a cow need? 

Clearly timid and afraid, they run, never away or across the road and up,

but together they run in the same direction that we travel


Separated from others by a barbed wire fence,

two calves run away from us and along the fence with the others

on the other side.


They always run, and at times,

the calf has to skirt too close as the fence line and road converge

and it panics, skips ahead even faster causing the others to full on sprint as well.


Finally, they somehow squeak through the fence and find themselves with the others.

I can’t find a break in the fence

and wonder how they suddenly crossed?

What process did it go through to go through the fence?

To decide that enough was enough?

To suddenly find themselves with a fence behind instead of always in front?


Are there fences that I run along?

Are there fences that move on without a break

that I can just walk through?


For 10 years we ran along the fence

and never looked for a break

and now we see the family that may never be ours.


Science has its limits.

No more clomid,

the hysterosalpingogram was enough to say stop. 


In a room, with diagrams and machines,

all the plumbing’s in place and the data confirms what we know.

Time is a calf running out.  Life is a series of fences.


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