The cottonwoods along the Rio Grande
leafed out these last three days.
Paul came across the remains
of a coyote feast—a rabbit he thinks.
Such is survival in the flood plain.
Imagine the depth of the tap roots
since the Cochiti Dam was built
preventing the river overflowing its banks.
Paul finds the cottonwood stump
with Whitman carved in it.
He stands tall, draws a deep breath
and recites new poems to the river.
A flock of Canada Geese
rise in a great flap,
while the last two Sandhill Cranes
walk the sandbar unfazed.
copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney