Moon Over Laguna de Santa Rosa
It is a rueful moon that drifts over
Laguna de Santa Rosa tonight--
River that flows both ways carrying
History heavy on its back. Those who
First recorded what they saw were in awe
Of the wooded plain, ripe with water and
Animal life. But change was drastic. First, the cattle ranchers cleared and burned the Live Oaks
Leaving their ominously blackened bodies girdling the golden tule fields.
Then the Gold Rush increased the price of game--
white and grey geese, ducks, deer antelope, elk
Even the few grizzlies that had survived
Were caught and sold for outrageous prices
on docks of the Petaluma river.
The remaining oaks were split and corded,
or reduced to charcoal. Then channels dug
To drain the cattle farms. Then the sewage ponds
Dug and filled. Today, the moon hangs low in
The sky. Not full, just a thin fingernail
Illuminating a single path back
past the remaining oaks, past forgetting.