Driving to Elbert to hear a student
rehearse for the Poetry Outloud Project.
Snow flanks the hips of the country road
Gap-toothed power poles teeth the barrow ditch
and the clichéd hawk rests atop one,
surveying the scene, rehearsing in his mind
the swoop and talon stretch, the screech
and grab and swoop up, the mouse’s tail swinging.
Snow so deep, mother cow kicks out curds
and the newborn calf follows her tail.
Is this the Colorado I love?
A leaning barn tanned to leather brown
the man, way way out there, a speck among his cattle
unloading feed for their hungry maws.
How many times can this be rehearsed
and never become trite or cliché.
I will slow down and sniff the nose chilling air
and suck in some sunshine. They can wait for me
to hear that poetry in Elbert. Rehearsal here
has already begun.