V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





Olive-drab clusters of inverted teardrops
lie low under mesquite that wander off
in search of arroyos, aquifers, and
river beds.
                 Prickly pears scramble
down sheer faces of dry gulches
where nothing else grows
except prairie grass,
                                crop up
through cracks in rock faces
that rise on the east side
of the highway,
                         pile on top of each other
to climb over barbed wire fences
that separate cattle and goats
from fields of new wheat.
                                         Red oaks
have turned in patches, but mesquite
cling to lacy pastel remnants
of summer finery
accented by clusters of mistletoe,
graygreen against their dark hard wood.
                                                    An occasional cottonwood
at the edge of a dry stream adds a flash of yellow
to earth tones, red, surprising mid-November
         a scout, like this morning's frost
in Sweetwater, for north wind
settling southward.

© by Steven Schroeder


Contributor's note
Next page
Table of contents
VPR home page