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Sunday afternoon,
as Hannah,
who has been living with us
and helping us the last two weeks,
prepares to leave
on the next leg of her journey,
we drove from our home on the prairie
to visit the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve.
We are so fortunate to be able to visit
the Tall Grass Prairie,
owned and manged by the Nature Conservancy.
At the southern,
Oklahoma end,
of the Flint Hills,
the tall grass prairie ecosystem,
managed by the protected indigenous species
and humans’ controlled burns,
is beautiful,
sublime.
This early May day,
trees and grasses are greening,
earliest prairie flowers blooming;
birds are in their most colorful feathers,
singing their sweetest songs—
we saw brilliant, yellow male Goldfinches
decked out for breeding—
and bison are calving.
We watched a couple of bison herds
before coming upon seven patriarchs
in a herd to themselves.
We watched (from the car)
for a long time
and were beside ourselves with excitement
and wonder
when these massive, magnificent creatures
sauntered silently across the road
just in front
and just behind the car.

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The broad sky
and changing cloud formations,
the roll of the prairie
in a drizzle—when we arrived—
and in the golden light—
as we departed—
left us bright-eyed,
smiling,
speechless,
filled
like nothing
but beauty
can.

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Thank you Earth.