Leveler Poetry Journal
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Que tiene amigo? Léon! Hermoso es!

We all know that poem, that plaint for frost-face,

Done in by poachers mad for yellow pelt;

We teach it to our children in our schools,

Spread wide along the Front Range

And flung in pockets of the moneyed belt

Where diamond mountain life buzzes against

Gold flecks exposed as elder snows melt.


We all think we know her, Colorado queen;

Our kids also taught to fight back if attacked;

Since we spilled into these hills to mine, to smelt,

To ranch, to ogle Sangre de Christo,

to hide away in shacks, to ski Taos

And Steamboat, our settled broods have drip-dealt

Water torture blows against the natives,

Gold flecks exposed as elder snows melt.


Which pity do we choose? Which of us would

Count our child among the million or two

To be executed? Who here hasn’t felt

Stiletto eyes stealthy on their hiking

Family, hailed the wanton trooper’s shot?

I have, and yet do cherish those who’ve long dwelt

Where mankind must now mind land and atmosphere:

Gold flecks exposed as elder snows melt.

Uche Ogbuji