Wet Spring

by B. J. Buckley

In the low bluffs, bones of buffalo lie exposed

by spring rains. So much meat, and the wind still hungry,

still cold at heart. Rain: a thousand hooves pounding dust.


Scattered out of the cattails the red-winged blackbirds,

evading for now, a hawk's pursuit — falling, winged ash,

back into the green fire of the reeds, raining song over their enemies.


The horses are turned ass into the wind, rain saddling their flanks.

Clouds of breath rise from flared nostrils, manes knotted with damp,

the beautiful muscles rippling beneath their skins like rain-swollen rivers.


By late afternoon the sun's corralled the thunderheads,

reined them in. Meadowlarks flash out of the coulees, yellow,

yellow — if only all wars could be so easily broken.


So many acres of stony ground, so many acres of clay —

it takes long hard rains to soak in, to crack the dessicated

seed — rainbows of wildflowers arching over the hills.


Fifty years might pass before another blossoming;

a lifetime between rains. The heart's a mustang — it won't be broken.

Look, how swallows thread the sky, weaving the blue cloth of darkness!

from Spaces Both Infinite and Eternal