Journal 2/2017 JHG
I’ve walked this dusty road so many times,
Past the tired old adobes sleeping in the sun,
While chickens scratch and peck the weedy ground.
Overhead a single soaring hawk dips and climbs,
Forever searching for a rabbit on the run.
Faded clothes hang tiredly on a barbwire fence,
Nearby a solitary dog lazes in a leafy glade.
He barely lifts his sleepy eyes to watch me pass,
Puzzled by my lack of common sense
For walking the sun-baked road devoid of shade.
Ancient cars squat tiredly in every yard,
Now the rusted homes of cats and nesting birds;
Their broken windows whisper a silent rebuke
Of better days when times were not so hard,
Of fertile fields and healthy grazing herds.
Sullen clouds are gathering over distant hills,
A lingering scent of sage hangs heavy in the air.
With a cry the hawk dives down from the cottonwood,
In his world survival is the only thing that’s fair.
I watch the waning daylight give way to evening chill,
purple shadows slide in silence along the cooling ground.
Bullfrogs greet the night in a burst of throaty song,
Answered by distant night birds roosting on a purple hill.
And in the dark all around, voices join a symphony of sound.
From the distant canyons a coyote’s haunting howl
Drifts on the breeze, floating over the silent plain.
Ghost-white faces lifted to the moon send the warning call,
Somewhere in the darkness, a wolf is on the prowl.
And far away I hear the lonely cry of a westbound train.