Bio Note: With a long-held interest in poetry in forms, I have one book that is composed entirely of sonnets (Leaf & Beak) and a new manuscript that is entirely in ghazals and golden shovels. I moved from Austin, Texas, to Albuquerque six years ago, a move which added a new appreciation for Japanese forms and reinvigorated my love of visual art (in fact, at 66 years of age, I recently exhibited my first piece of art in a gallery). In April of this year, I was inducted into the prestigious Texas Institute of Letters.
Her tapered tail a letter opener, the spry anole darts across the dirt that’s just been dug, a desert connoisseur of things too small for me to see. Alert to shifting changes, stopping only to gulp-swallow, she’s a busy bugger. How she scurries across sidewalks and skidoos up walls like Spiderman on speed. I vow to follow her lightning course, her zig-zig transit among the rocks—but can’t. She’s gone. There’s more adventure, other lives to snag, while I’m left musing at her goings-on, the endless busyness, the empty hole that I have dug and patiently console.
Years later the place would be known for the torture and murder of Matthew Shepard, but when I entered Laramie County, I knew it only as a place to stop for the night. Leaving Michigan that morning, I drove west all day, San Jose my ultimate destination. There was no Silicon Valley, the tech boom had not yet arrived, nor had personal computers. Just past the Nebraska state line, I pulled off into tiny Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, checked into the only motel and walked to the lone diner, where I wolfed down a burger with bottomless coffee. Energy drinks had not yet been created, nor had Starbucks spread across the country. Everyone there wore a cowboy hat and boots, even the waitress. Everyone had their eyes on me, as if I’d just arrived in a hippie van, long hair strewn with flowers down my back, infesting the values of America’s heartland. I would have high-tailed it out of there had I not been road-weary and exhausted. Still, the unease . . . Yet when my California dream went bust, I stopped at the same diner on my long drive back home. Same cowboys, same waitress, same dead flies on the same greasy windowsill, same old dust cleaving to my shoes as I left.
©2021 Scott Wiggerman
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