Grey Wolf, Grizzly Bear, White-Tailed Deer

Grey Wolf, Grizzly Bear, White-Tailed Deer

Grey Wolf, Grizzly Bear, White-Tailed Deer


What I took to be desert bighorns
running straight up the ridge making
a sound like breaking plates didn’t
turn out to be either of those things,
& what I took to be fog shoplifting
the top half of the mountain was really
something more like the problem
with trying to remember your childhood
from pictures of your childhood.
It was the blackened stump with arms
fooling me on the hillside again,
telling me to go buy a curtain
I didn’t need at all, & it was the fire
you must sometimes light on purpose
& the swallow that repeated
all powerful to them was the sun,
& it was that sun still marching
up the cliff like an army that made me
wonder why the apples were smaller
this year, and so quick. We used to take
pictures of people taking pictures
& call it memory. We used to call
nostalgia an illness caused by swelling
of the brain. The painter has been trying
for days to get the color of the mountain
just right, the yellowed skirts the agave
wear in late July, other patches almost
ashen against that face. One good cloud
changes everything. The bighorn haven’t
lived here for ninety years. I was thinking
this might be a way to say someone
once tried hard to water Bone Canyon
& that there are worse things than
the only pictures from your childhood
having been taking while opening gifts.

Thank you for reading The Nation

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read, just one of the many incisive, deeply-reported articles we publish daily. Now more than ever, we need fearless journalism that shifts the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media.

Throughout this critical election year and a time of media austerity and renewed campus activism and rising labor organizing, independent journalism that gets to the heart of the matter is more critical than ever before. Donate right now and help us hold the powerful accountable, shine a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug, and build a more just and equitable future.

For nearly 160 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and moral clarity. As a reader-supported publication, we are not beholden to the whims of advertisers or a corporate owner. But it does take financial resources to report on stories that may take weeks or months to properly investigate, thoroughly edit and fact-check articles, and get our stories into the hands of readers.

Donate today and stand with us for a better future. Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Ad Policy