Pastoral Saunter by Paulina Sanchez Navarro Keller

Hand in hand we explore the open country before us

Like white-crowned sparrow we too have chosen a mate

No eyes but for each other as we meander down the lane

Listening to the songbirds call to keep tabs on one another.


Three stinking and humongous goats see us off into the hills

Their bays probably a warning of the incoming rain,

but who listens to goats! Sun is shining after weeks of wet.

We follow the singing sparrow down our chosen route.


A tangle of Towhees hop looking for grains under the bushes

No gloomy harassing cloud will keep us from relishing ourselves

with the red bottomed bird and its friends as they seek and sing.

Down goes the head, up comes the tail, and a quick flash of rust


We see a lone slate-colored Junco far from its quarrel

watches us approach but flees before we come too close.

The wild wind beats at us, reminding us of winter’s grasp,

Damp grass, slushy mud and a hint of cow dung fill the way.


Shrubs, greensward, mounds, cows, and a murder of crows

Their emerald and tan start to lose their sparkle to the wind

Heavy with the pregnant clouds ready to let loose against us all.

Birds quickly hid under leaves, leaving us to find our own way.


We dash back towards shelter, mud marking us as targets in the war.

Puddles fight against our shoes for control of our socks!

Fat, deliberate raindrops splatter against the hood of our rain jackets

Sluggishly dripping down to find hair, skin, or cloths to conquer!


Our race continues even as our clothes do battle against water

The bird’s song now muted by the rushing blood in our ears.

The cow’s mellow eyes hide laughter at our plight

As our shoes give up in the defeat and our socks surrender.


Yet we still hold hands through all the sludge and haste

Never loosing hold in the adverse or the most pleasant.