Each spring I bring a string
of Tibetan prayer flags to Tuscarora.
At winter’s end, they are faded and frayed,
which tells you something
about the power of wind.
I wish my hopes could ride the wind skyward.
Although I know the custom makes no sense,
If I did believe, this would be my plea:
Don’t turn my deepest needs to tumbleweeds
blown nowhere but against a barbed wire fence.
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 .