If I don’t know where I was, how can I get back there?
Overheard in a bar in Elko awhile back
I see the dip and rise of sage-covered hills
a willow bank, chokecherry, wild rose,
and aspen shaking in the morning breeze.
Could have been a lot of places, I suppose,
and I know what you’ll say--
we don’t learn who we are in a day.
And yet it is a day and place that stays,
when I knew I could hold the herd in an easy way.
When I consider how I’ve strayed and why
I’d give anything to go back and see
a younger me riding tall, riding free.
Nancy Harris McLelland taught creative writing, composition, and literature for over twenty years and Conducted writing workshops for the Western Folklife Center, Great Basin College , and the Great Basin Writing Project . An Elko County native with a background in ranching. McLelland has presented her "Poems from Tuscarora" Both at daytime and evening events at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. Her essay, "Border Lands: Cowboy Poetry and the Literary Canon" is in the anthology Cowboy Poetry Matters .