Plans for the Keystone Pipeline

Plans for The Keystone Pipeline

 inspired by Richard Hugo’s Plans for Altering the River

Those who favor our plans for the Keystone Pipeline
raise your hand. Thank you for your vote.
Last week, you’ll recall, I spoke about how oil
never complains. How it runs where you spill it,
seemingly at home in oyster beds, flooding prairies pinched
by Chinese banks like those in this graphic
depiction of our plan. We ask for power:
a tanker ruptures or trains derail to drive our cars.
The GOP approves our plans for the Keystone Pipeline.

Due to a procedural vote, I’m sad to report
our project is not on schedule. The president
was listening to the Sierra Club and Interior.
We used to drill deep without remorse or tax,

wavers coming when oil prices were low.
Senate turned their heads and coughed. When we get
that settled, and the concrete, given good weather
we can force our plan for the Keystone Pipeline.

We have the injunction. We silenced the opposition.
The workers are back. The materials arrived
and everything’s humming. I thank you
for this award, this handsome plaque I’ll keep
forever above my mantle, and I’ll read
the inscription often aloud to remind me
how with your courageous backing I fought
our battle and won. I’ll always remember
this banquet this day build the Keystone Pipeline.

Nesting boxes for cranes? A commemorative Sand Hill plaque?
Return of owl and endangered newt? Who are these men?
The National Resource Defense Council on plans for the Keystone Pipeline?
What’s this wild worry over wetlands,
celebrating the runoff, display floats on fire
at night and a forest dance under the stars?
Children sing through my locked door, ‘Old stranger,
we’re going to alter, to alter, alter the aquifer.’
Just when the water was settled and at home.

If you want to read and hear Hugo’s original, go here.

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