local_library Goldeye, Vole

by Tami Haaland

Published in Issue No. 53 ~ October, 2001

I say sweep of prairie

or curve or sandstone,

but it doesn’t come close

to this language of dry wind

and deer prints, blue racer

and sage, its punctuation

white quartz and bone.

I learned mounds of

mayflowers, needle grass

on ankles, the occasional

sweet pea before I knew

words like perspective or

travesty or the permanency

of loss. My tongue spoke

obsidian, red agate,

arrowhead. I stepped

through tipi rings, leaped

buffalo grass and puff ball

to petrified clam.

Jawbone of fox, flint,

blue lichen, gayfeather,

goldeye, vole — speak to me

my prairie darling, sing me

that song you know.

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Tami Haaland has work forthcoming in Rattapallax, Clackamas Review, 5AM and a couple of anthologies. Her book, Breath in Every Room will be out in December.