Pleading a poem down from a tree,
Coaxing a poem out of the dog house.
Sweet-talking a poem behind its mother’s skirt.
Tricking a poem into a car.
Luring a poem into the bedroom.
Kicking a poem out of the house.
Gunning down a renegade poem
trapped in a box canyon, sandstone cliffs
rising a thousand feet. A rock slide blocking the way.
The lily-livered poem whimpers, “They’re coming to get me!”
The sheriff of the poem posse hovers over the blank page.
“Put away your pistol, Billy. That one died of fright.”
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 .