The wild alfalfa is chest high along the river
and the cows who summered here
with their calves last year have gone.
In the heat, she licked her young’s hide
clean as it nudged and nuzzled against her.
We watched them from the edge of the river
as they loved each other and nipped
the alfalfa short, then we walked through sage
holding hands in the afternoon.
And now you wonder where they’ve gone,
if they’re still together, worried because
of this space in our lives.
When you asked if we’d always be together,
of course I said no, quietly hoping against time.
In our absence, the alfalfa and everything else
will grow taller, greener, readying itself
for the new love that’s coming,
what we don’t know yet.
Like the herd over the rim of the canyon
hoofing their way closer each moment.
Jeff Knorr is the author of three books of poetry, The Third Body (Cherry Grove Collections), Keeper (Mammoth Books), and Standing Up to the Day (Pecan Grove Press). His other works include Mooring Against the Tide: Writing Poetry and Fiction (Prentice Hall); the anthology, A Writer's Country (Prentice Hall); and The River Sings: An Introduction to Poetry (Prentice Hall). Knorr lives in Sacramento, California and is Professor of literature and creative writing at Sacramento City College and is the Poet Laureate of Sacramento.