Canyon Fever

Artifax, Vol. 2.1 (1972)

Carole Beck

A fence of eucalyptus
spiked into the parched ground
dull and browner
than the road that points
to other canyons
lying still
as empty troughs.

Dry winds
make the only sound.
Wrapped up with the heat
even lifeless burrs
cannot be pushed.
Nothing but the dust moves
in little stirs.

Even with the summer rain,
the sudden break in clouds, late
before a dropping sun,
that caused the trees to glow
below a charcoal sky,

I saw the shadows
stretch across the road
like prison bars,
and then the clouds fused
tight again
across the sun.

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