Blackhawk, old warrior
outnumbered by European starlings,
is that you, or your namesake,
perched high on that cottonwood branch?
Do you see me here on the land?
I think you’d still know it –
this path on this island of sand.
A creek still flows.
The deer still drink the cool of it.
But Blackhawk, hear the mourning dove mourn;
don’t fly back to that little lake.
In a hundred summers, the trees may return
that the damned fool clear-cut for a view.
Let his sons, for a hundred winters,
have nothing to burn. Hell,
let his daughters freeze with them, too.
Or is that unkind, Blackhawk?
Too hawkish a thought for my mourning dove mind?
There’s a warning of chick-a-dee-dee.
Now, a racket of crows
and the waxwings wax alarming.
Can’t I relax? After all,
a creek still flows
and the deer still drink the cool of it.
~ Ralph Murre