Lichen and stardust. Moonscape
cloaked in bright flowers and dancing grass
and hard, broken stone.
A hidden garden unfolds.
Tended by three dark sisters – the daughters
with bright colored skirts.
Here, Xantico watched, unseen —
the old Aztec fire god gave it her blessing.
The girls have done well this year.
So far from the wet Bosque,
the water hides in cracks and shadows
waiting for spring.
Blanket Flower shows its colors,
Globe Mallow rises on tall stems,
desert daisies and sunflowers all take their turn.
Chamisa, bright green now, waits for autumn
to unleash its yellow show,
along with the blue Asters.
Prickly Pear and Cholla begin their show –
bright flowers like the girls used to wear in their hair.
Look, but don’t touch.
The ancient ones – twisted sage
and sculpted junipers – provide sanctuary
for returning bright feathered visitors.
Stony fissures and alcoves
in dark, fire-thrown piles give shade
and respite for night dwellers.
This year Xantico has favored the yuccas,
their bright torches shine above the rest.
Life is hard up here — so windblown;
and closer to the clouds than to the river,
but the daughters’ flowered skirts have come alive.
* * *
The Home Place, 2017