Make the last left before the freeway.
If you miss it, turn around and try again.
But don’t get on the freeway.
Go to the iron fence. Jump out (or have someone young and nimble in your car for this purpose).
It only looks locked. It isn’t.
The Sandhill Cranes are here.
Feasting on fields of corn seeds.
Take care on the dirt road.
If you drive too fast, or the roads are too wet, you will get stuck.
Drive on the grass if you think you’ll need to.
The grass is forgiving.
The road winds through the prairie.
You might begin to wonder if you’re in the right place.
But just when you start second guessing your directions (was that really the last left before the freeway?), the cabin will come into view.
And if you come at the right time of the year,
(if you can hear the cranes)
you’ll see a fair number of us about.
There’s a few of us on the porch at all times, nestled under blankets or animal skins.
Grandma’s not here anymore,
(her body gave out in her 90th year)
but I swear, you can still hear her laugh.
It’s beautiful out here.
The cabin is always warm, and there’s more than enough food and drink to go around.
Want to take a ride in a 4×4?
Get in line, and hold on tight.
Make sure you get down to the river before it gets too dark.
That’s when the cranes come home.
You’ll see them by the thousands.
You’ll hear their ancient sound.
It gets cold on the prairie when the sun goes down, but stay, just a little longer, and watch them.
Then come inside and sit by the wood-burning stove.
Talk, laugh, and discuss what’s on your mind.
Don’t have much to say?
Come sit by me.