Bio Note: As summer drags on in the Mojave, it feels like the heat will last forever. Early morning walks are my salvation—that, and taking refuge in poetry. My latest book, Full Circle, has 120 haiku and senryu poems, many of them about the changing seasons in the desert. There’s a lot of glory out here along with the grit.
Tentacles of silken thread stretch from pot to pot on the patio, and up the stairs to succulents on the sunlit ledges. There, swaying in space, sit the spiraled center and its architect, an orange clump big as a cat’s eye, legs drawn in, waiting, as I bat the web apart. The moorings stick to my hands, and the more I pull, the more the spider reels out, until I finally see this, and stop, and laugh— for a moment letting go of my fight with a foe’s deliberate designs on my universe.
The sleeping earth saw no sign of a storm, until, before dawn, a soundless sky flashed white, then white again, electricity seeking an outlet. That energy formed a jagged bolt, struck a single Joshua tree, reduced it to a cinder. Were those ragged arms needed elsewhere, to hold something unnamed, in a place without bodies?
Sycamore tree and God say the same: You won’t meet your end in these woods. Wake up. Watch stars between branches. Keep trying to do good. Which means: Escape. Use your hands, your feet, your teeth. You have the power to hurt the hurter. Find the will. Find the way. Sycamore bows in the wind, whispers— Grow up. Get up. Get out of here. That’s what your legs are for. You didn’t expect to move again. But you will get up, and run. Not like the others. Not like them.
©2022 Cynthia Anderson
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