52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Friday, March 25, 2016

45. Hiking Good Friday, White Point Nature Preserve

We took the dog and let her off the leash,
keeping her on the trail with a word,
and a snack when necessary. When we reached
at the top of the slope the bunkers built against
the Japanese, and since abandoned but shut against
hikers, we looked down toward the Pacific,
Catalina Island’s middle covered in cloud, and didn’t think
about any invaders. I worried about ground nests
and keeping the dog close by, keeping her away
from mischief and the sight of volunteers.
When we reached again the flats we leashed her.
We saw the sprinklers arrayed on either side of the path.
One of my boys asked Why, in a nature preserve.
To create more diversity of habitat in the space.
There used to be more land, and now you goose
what you’ve got to support more than it would
without human help. That’s what I think,
I said. We later watched Selma, after dinner,
and when a white state trooper shoots a black man,
a peaceful protestor, in a diner where he’s fled,
my son asked, They could just do that?
They could, I said. Some still do. I don’t know
why, but in my mind the fact of those sprinklers
and what my son learned people do and did
to each other for no good reason are linked.

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