Beneath the high desert sun,

on steppes and Santa Fe trails,


sagebrush, silver-green and wide as angels’ wings,

smells of muted camphor, something between rosemary


and evergreen, the foliage narrow as their needles,

though longer, and soft as any Midwest leaf—


honeysuckle, willow, ash.

Barely-yellow flowers air their small sentiments


atop the shrubs, largely unnoticed as every hiker

goes past. They don’t care. They could live


a hundred years reflecting the faint half-moon

lingering above them, spreading shade and water


to neighboring plants, guardians of the path,

their sole ambition to lead this unassuming life.


Julie L. Moore is the author of Particular Scandals, published in The Poiema Poetry Series by Cascade Books. Her other books include Slipping Out of Bloom and Election Day. Moore has had her poetry published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Image Journal, Nimrod, Poetry Daily, Southern Review, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. Her work also has appeared in several anthologies, including Becoming: What Makes a Woman (University of Nebraska Gender Programs) and Every River On Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio (Ohio University Press).

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