Cynthia McCain

Corvallis, Oregon

Cynthia McCain is a forest ecologist and writer who lives in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies. She has published one chapbook, Woman and Horse (Common Names Press 2019), and The Dream of Falling (Finishing Line Press) will be available in the spring of 2020.

Proof of Citizenship
Cynthia McCain

(upon finding a report on the behavioral causes of census under-count of

undocumented Hispanic immigrants on an official website)

Base this year’s census of this place

on prints in the snow:

ours, down the driveway to the mailbox


the turkeys, dinosaur feet leaving fossil trails across the yard

the possum, little handprints walking to the compost pile


juncos, like asterisks under the grape arbor

the cat, arrowing from the kitchen door to the back door


and coyotes, dogging from the creek to the house, under the trees,

running across the meadow.


All these are recorded

save the hummingbirds,




summer migrants who stay all winter,

fragile and fierce,


who never touch the ground,

who do not leave prints,

who are not counted

© 2019 by Cascadia Rising Review

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