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Yokohl Drive | by niiicedave
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Yokohl Drive

Last Spring in Yokohl


Write it

the voice said, the one

inside my head

at dawn. Oh no

the one outside my head

said in reply,

too late.


Write it so even

the most complacent of us

will feel the loss, will want

to drive that old

one-and-a-half lane road

one last time

before it's improved

before it's disappeared


beneath the weight of heavy equipment:

bulldozers, graders, backhoes

and things I don't even want to know

the names of, beneath the press

of what some folks call progress,

under the heel

of the invisible boot.


Write it for all the settlers

who once tried to make that valley

home. Write it for the school children

who learned their three R's right there

beside the windmill, just across

from the dynamite shack. Write it

for Joe Ely the barber, the last

Yokodo born on that land

who never slit a white man's throat

despite the opportunities. Write it

for yourself, despite the agonies

of facing that land's demise

so when it's gone you won't

slit your own.


Write it even for the cyclists

who fly across the landscape

too fast to see

except when pumping hard



Write it so the big men

will feel some guilt. Write it

so the cowboys and ranch hands,

the ones almost out of a job,

will feel honored. Write it so

the tragedy of too much

money power land

in ignorant hands

will be clear

as day.


But don't just write it

a third voice said somewhere between

inside and out, within the gray zone dividing

dark and light. Sing it, she said compellingly,

a suggestive note in her voice

modulating up half a step.


Sing it sweet

for the meadowlarks

warbling on rusty barbed wire.

Sing it soft so there's no hard line

between you and them. Sing it long

until no reservations remain whether to move

or stay put and lose. Sing it clear so there's no

second guessing, no second opinions, no

second chances for those with dreams

of developing that valley

by destroying it.

Sing it, she said

so I will.


By Trudy Wischemann.

Reprinted by kind permission from Dry Crik Review


Please sign my petition to the President of the United States to use the Antiquities Act to save Yokohl Valley:

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Taken on March 15, 2015