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'To the Man in the Jaunty Golf Cap, Wow—

Paul Elliott photo

by Rob Carney

I'm glad that wool was saved from coyotes,
glad for winter with its sight lines, glad for trees,

the way they cooperate
by letting go of their leaves.

And I'm glad for the skill of the helicopter pilot,
ski-smooth even in the crosswinds,

glad for rifles and marksmanship: one coyote less, gone
before the gunshot echo. . . .

Even from the air, even over naked snow,
I'd never see so clearly,

see tracks as a map they can't run away from, tracks
just one step behind,

but it isn't my job.
It isn't the clouds' job either,

topping the mountains like a jaunty hat.
Theirs is to part and let the sunlight accent

the quiet on the green, and you there
lining up a putt.

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Credit Lost Horse Press
Lost Horse Press

Rob Carney is the author of four books and three chapbooks of poems, most recently 88 Maps (Lost Horse Press 2015). He is the winner of the 2013 Poetry Prize and the 2014 Robinson Jeffers/Tor House Foundation Award for Poetry. His work has appeared in Cave Wall, Mid-American Review, and many other journals, as well as Flash Fiction Forward (Norton 2006). He is a Professor of English at Utah Valley University and lives in Salt Lake City.

"To the Man in the Jaunty Golf Cap,  Wow—" was published in Carney's collection 88 Maps.

Chérie Newman is a former arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. She founded and previously hosted a weekly literary program, The Write Question, which continues to air on several public radio stations; it is also available online at and
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