Prarie Dog Poems

Amy Bobeda

mating season

late winter. a peep in snowfall. a gadfly or frenzy;
estrus lasts a single hour 
three.   thousand      six       hundred seconds to repopulate
the prairie dog nation

hope  la lengua maternal

bark           cry             belch               chatter

a prayer: only one-half-litter lives to summer

Rites of Passage

young male prairie dog
em.     barks     cries.   burrows into
viaje del héroe 

losses himself in
suburban closets
las cavernas making
boys into men

madre naturaleza 
sengras los cuerpos 

niñas becoming mujeres

madre natruraleza
drawing moon string 
from bellies’ time

boys work harder
to become

to initiate
madre naturaleza’s gift
women bore 

Female prairie dogs exhibit philopatry, defined as fidelity to one area, and do not commonly disperse from their birth territories. When or before they become sexually mature, male prairie dogs disperse away from their birth ward, thus avoiding any chance of inbreeding. Female prairie dogs will generally remain in their birth area for their entire lives, living with their mothers, sisters, aunts, counsins, and nieces. This localization strategy is called matrilocal (matri- from Latin for mother), and most female prairie dogs are matrilocal for their entire lives. –John Hoogland

depression in dreams bleeds

sadness, collects bacteria
patterned homemakers fill holes 
red, bikes crashing bleeding peroxide
skinned knees bead stick lesion patterns 
robin eggs blue clear colored 
propane, celadon glaze 
capillaries of trees spaced between 
ligament bark peels 

a sudden change 

cauterizes fire ants, red
momentum wanes the biplane wings
black tongues in water 
wide eyes hunched
another prairie dog found dead 
infanticide is a number. 

Amy holds an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics where she founded Wisdom Body Collective. Her work can be read/is forthcoming from Entropy, Vol1 Brooklyn, Denver Quarterly and elsewhere. @amybobeda on twitter. 

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