Sometime during the night, an ambulance flies down
my street, jolting me awake. I turn the lamp on
and see that it woke Pup too. We both lay
back down, hearts racing, as the siren
fades into the distance.
Then I think of the farm.
I look around at my home where there’s no room
for muddy jeans and boots by the door
my new leather gloves and James’ handkerchief
sit on the dresser. I left my hat in Sadie’s kitchen –
I couldn’t wear it here anyway. There is no
room to practice roping on my brick patio.
At night, the crickets and frogs and stars
are drowned by traffic and laughter
and pale orange street lights.
My aunt sent me the papers
for the land across the river from her.
The old dairy is up for auction
137 acres in all – the meadow, the stream,
The side of the mountain where I
Learned to ride will go to a developer
Or a hunter
Or someone else who will call it their home
who can write the check by May 1st.
I can’t picture anyone else living there
or loving it, dreaming of it as often as I do.
The thought of someone else signing their
name on the papers keeps me awake.
A stranger who doesn’t know the
the curves of the creek
or what the ridge-line looks like
in the very pale light
just before dawn.
I want to sign my name on that land,
to map out the fence line
and drive t-posts into the orange clay,
stringing barbed wire
across with gloved hands. I could
cut hay on it in the summer, raising
colts and calves there in the spring.
I could learn the land, and have it learn me
and at the end of the day,
look out over that beautiful ridge-line
and see something I am proud of.