Awake in Sacramento, 2005

Gen. John Charles Fremont and his party camped here in the 1840s. Their stated purpose was to find an overland route to the China trade.

Fremont’s weary men complained:
none could sleep
amid the ceaseless din of birds—
flocks stretching off for miles,
before this land was drained.

Today I woke to a mourning dove,
its faint familiar call;
the roaring now is trucks and trains
blocks west beyond a wall.