Emigrants

Old men plough while sons grow cold
under the mountain

Prairie wheat fields murmuring golden and rich in the days
before harvest
the smell of grass—long hay newly mown dry crunching
under our running
We counted our days in puffs of old-man dandelions knew our
distances in the long rows of telephone poles.

At the base of the poles We put our ears to wood that trembled
messages of the great world
wind on our shoulders, telling, listening, and we knew that the time of our leaving would be soon.

The winds of migration were everywhere—in the v-line of ducks
and the wide sweep of Canada geese
We heard at dusk the calling and in the morning packed,
our bags growing fat with things we could not leave, memories of a hundred days of
our mothers