Missing the Bison by Keith Allan Welch

Go walk in the tall grass of a farmer’s field
you may feel strongly the absence of the bison
all his gruff rolling muscle and tough horn,

and wonder where the puma has gone
the night is missing her angry yowling,
the ground the stamp of her large, rough paws

The black bear and the grey wolf, buried under
the concrete of a hundred thousand foundations
Lost from among the trees we suffer to exist

Away from the field the grey streets are named for
the trees cut down to make way for the streets and
Wooden silhouettes of absent animals dot the square lawns

This world we make is a world of loss, of forgotten
past and careless present, the future avoided at any cost
of willing blindness and a terrible acceptance

But while you sleep ragged coyotes roam under your window,
panting, and delicate red foxes pause, scenting the wind
on the black pavement of your large two-car driveway