The evening light, more gray than dusk yellow,
filtering through cracked windowpanes as dust,
cast shadows on her threadbare dress like faded
bones. She rested one hand on the chilled sill,
the other on her brow bowed low. Outside,
her farm’s fallow fields dimmed in the November
nightfall, the air breathless as a shuttered cellar,
canned goods lined cobwebbed like tombstones.
The route from 46, Bandera to Blanco,
passed without a glance, she a postscript, a postcard
never delivered. A mongrel cur, one ear clipped
like a bus ticket collected, trudged down the weed-strewn
road wending toward her home and wandered off like
a memory. Looking up, she saw the night’s last light fade.
We’ve pissed off Mother Nature and she’s decided to retaliate by taking a flamethrower to the state of California. She’s saying, If you can’t appreciate my gifts and you must be insistent upon making a mockery of the natural wonders I have provided you – I will not stand by to let you blacken my skies with your burning coal, gas, and oil. You will not tear down my immaculate, majestic redwoods to replace with buildings. I will not let you spoil my clean air with soot and carbon pollution. No. You will not destroy me. I have long warned you of your irresponsible behavior, your lack of care for what should be so willingly easy to care for. No longer will I warn you. If anyone is going to destroy me, it’s going to be me and in the process I will do to you like you have done to me.
The train rolled by Too industrious busy to notice my deep-darkening sky I, on the platform, fresh ticket in hand To ride that steel stallion in meadows green, hoped I Another, fairer life beckoning from afar Once seated safely within those rail cars The train rolled along Steam-puffing it's melodious, commodious, disquieting song Foot-to-foot shifting, nervous awaiting More swimmer than gardener, pits and palms sweating Dry mouth indiscrete, daring a moment to speak That moment slipped past in a flash and a squeak The train rolled on Through the length of callow night, out into burnished dawn Caboose light dangled, passing just out of sight Shame behind fear hidden, shrink in my seat, rear pew Watch with loss dread as vows before all are made Lives joined together, another set adrift by a maid The train rolled away I, standing still-life, as memories fade from yesterday