Where would you go
if you could go anywhere.
That’s what people ask.
From the time we’re born,
desperate to get away
like a coyote in a trap.
And I’ve never known what to say
until just now after the rain’s stopped,
just before dark,
just before I knead tortilla dough
with the hands I use to braid my mother’s hair
down her back to childhood—
do I know the answer—
and it’s up the mountain
to where the ravens are cawing.
Because it’s never not something:
a bear, a turkey, a body
cached by a lion.
They’re better than a bloodhound
for a missing person
and if you’re looking for a reason,
they have it.
Tucked in tailfeathers;
held in beaks like splintered bone
that rain down ash when they speak.
I’ll bring my mother with me,
walking over the ridge to find them.
There she’ll remember where she’s gone
and how to get back home.
Erin Block works as a librarian and lives in a cabin in Colorado where she hunts, fishes, forages, and gardens. Her writing has been published in CutBank Literary Journal, The Rumpus, Guernica, River Teeth, and Gray’s Sporting Journal, among others.