The call of an elk startles me.
I look across the rolling brown
and gray hills at the sewing-machine
bobbing of pumpjacks
and feel the disappointment
shiver me like touching steel
on a hard frost morning.
It’s the same feeling I get when
I mistake the wind cutting
through the wires for a whale’s song
or the drivebelt slipping in a pulley
for the screeching laughter of little
girls playing who are gone.