An Ill Omen


A dull light,

suffuses the dark grey clouds,

the light of day


to a pitiful veil.

Rain is falling,

the cold rain

of an early winter,

an ill omen,

portending a hard year

to come.


We had an idea

this was coming.

The elder cousins

had watched the flocks

fly South early,

sitting for only short periods

to eat the grain

in the field.

More predators this year, too.

Grizzly bear,

and wolves

and cougar.

We brought the herds in early

from the farther pastures,

as the coyotes

were getting brave,

and going at the calves.


There’re whispers

going around town.

Worried looks

and hushed voices.

Everyone has seen

the government men

in their back suits

and mirrored sunglasses.

Meeting with the mayor

and the sheriff,

if the rumors are true.


It doesn’t feel

like the Russians

back in the 80’s.

This ominous threat

feels immediate

and harrowing.

My better nature

tells me not to worry,

to trust in our people

and have Faith,

but we’ve still stocked

our pantry.

The freezers are full

of venison and beef.

A few of the neighbors

have been asking me

to teach them how to use

a firearm.

So, I show them

enough to be safe,

but you can’t teach

nerves and patience.


I pity the people

in the cities.

We’ll be good for a while here

if things really go south,

but those poor people,

they’ll feel it right away.


I think I’ll take a ride today,

out under this heavy sky,

up to the North ridge

and check for signs of coyotes.

It’ll be good

to take in the cool air

and enjoy the freedom

that we fought for,

and pray

that winter holds off

a while longer.



HG – 2021

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