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Walter McDonald

Walter McDonald is the Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Texas Tech University. Counting Survivors was published last year.

Poem: ‘Uncle Earl’s Wind River Ranch’

Walter McDonald, 23 January 1997

It’s salt, not rain, fat elk cows need. Uncle Earl hauls salt blocks up from town and dumps them, wedged by boulders licking tongues can’t tumble. Elk wander down to graze his slope. Wild elk never nod, big bellies swaying, calves on their way, most snow melted that far down in gusty winds that wild. Uncle Earl looks up maybe once a day, takes elk for granted and boulders above...

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