An early memory from the high desert

A sunrise season
Light seeps
Just over the horizon
Honey on toast
Fresh dew on dormant grasses
Creosote bushes are the only things alive
After a hundred summer days without rain
Or so it seems.
Abundant in contrast with the sparsity of fall
They generously offer up
polka-dot disguises
for the Cooper’s Hawk
hunting ground
or under-cover Gambel’s Quail
the kind with the little top-knot
that bobs when they walk.
They don’t want to end up like
the Masked Bobwhite
endangered, protected
Centuries old saguaros stand guard
Over sunshine and water
Droplets reflected and refracted
Give the appearance of a sea of gold
A Fort Knox in the desert.
In the desert, water is more precious
Misty desert mornings
She misses most
the smell of faraway rain
that never arrives
the dusty gusts
that coat your face and hair and make your eyes water
just enough to be grateful
it wasn’t a dust devil
the kind that can exfoliate your skin in an instant
and that you can still cry
or at the very least make tears
regardless of the occasion
Shed like snake skins
Plastic bags shred themselves
in the jagged branches of the Joshua tree

Make my day