Poems  From Tuscarora
Independence Valley


Watch the restless swallows come and go

on the power line to Tuscarora.

Some avian law explains the way

they  leave precise space between each other.


Instinct decrees the distance between hawks

hunkered on poles beside the Midas Road.

Nature tells peregrine falcons not to

nest less than two miles from other raptors.


But what of the ranchers who inhabit

the valley below?  From an eagle’s view

soaring above the plain, distance makes sense.

That’s all the high desert land can sustain.


Still, a question remains.  Does remoteness

breed a species disinclined to be near

its kind?  No.  Any dusty road will show

the miles folks will go to help each other.


Yet, not everyone is born for this place.

Those who do survive, stay sober, stay sane

have willed their peace with silence and space.

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