The Buffalo in Golden Gate Park



Oh, buffalo in G.G. Park,

It’s hard to see you after dark.

Asleep, you’re just a furry mound

That blends in with the grass and ground.

But I hope you sense me there

And know somehow how much I care

That greatness such as yours must lie

Away from open land and sky.

Reminding us of glories past,

Of multitudes, you’re near the last.

Here contained by metal fence,

Lie six of you - no herd so dense

There seemed to flow a sea of brown

That poured out o’re the grass beat down

By thundering hooves across the plain.

All that stopped whence came the train,

And settlers thinned your hordes with guns.

You, the daughters and the sons,

Of wondrous creatures from God’s garden,

Don’t know enough to ask our pardon.

All you know’s this plot of land,

Not even that you won’t be tanned

Or ground into exotic meat.

But life this safe is incomplete.

Without the risk, the forceful fold,

The blazing heat, the searing cold,

Life becomes a pea soup fog.

At the fence a yapping dog

Stirs the pride of a noble soul,

A bit too late to make it whole.

Anne Nygren Doherty 2020