Circulation by Michael Nelson

 The hawk hovers over the prairie.sledding2

As I approach, lifts and turns, lands

on a hickory branch. Her wings arc, the tail

spans and burns red in the autumn sun. The gold

ribbon grass glows as everything in me slows.

All the beauty moves down the draw

into the basin of me. The streams

of garnet sumac do not deny. The caramel

oaks along the creeks coach me.


The north wind brings lightness to my step.

The massive Black Angus bull studies me.

A new mother cries in alarm. The herd runs

up the hill except for the bull who watches me

until I shimmy under the barbed wire fence. Out here


the roll and rise of the hill’s tawny flanks

brush me into a silky sweep.

I’m mollusk fossil, cow paddy, coyote chorus…

A wild dance takes me. As dad’s decreasing

circulation brings him to a stop I resume

the unfinished business of my childhood.

~ Michael Nelson


6 thoughts on “Circulation by Michael Nelson

  1. Well done. I think you were raised on my father’s ranch. William J. Karnowski

  2. I see you here . . . not merely in the ‘childhood’ photo, but in your words.
    Excellent work.

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