I had some roses in my yard
They were yellow against the sky
But I’ll no longer give them water
I have let the flowers of my hope to die
Because yellow was the color of the trucks that came
And cleared away the land
And stole the home of the raven
In the name of modern man.
There’s nary a bird in the trees
Who’s not crying for relief
There’s nary a bird in the woods
Who’s not boxed in.
There’s nary a woman nor a man
Who can afford to stand
And watch the bulldozers closing in.
I had neighbors in the forest
The sumac, oak and pine
But there are cranes on the horizon
Where the birch trees formed a broken jagged line
And though I welcome all the children and the families
A come to fill these homes
When they cleared away the forest
They left me all alone.
Sure, I’m smarter than the beaver
I’ve got a paper to protect my claim upon the land
But I’m the last fool in the valley
And that paper’s worthless in my clutching hand
But if I had a million dollars I’d go out and buy
All the land I see
And make it home for the wildwood
Who made a home for me.
If there’s no hedgerow for the red fox
And the goose won’t make her nest along the lake
And the red-tailed hawk won’t fly here
And the white-tailed deer no longer shows its face
And the rabbit cannot find a place to raise her young
And the warbler finds no tree
If there’s no home here for the possum
There can be no home for me.
© 1991 Pamela Cardullo Ortiz