driving through the Arizona desert
with my sister at the helm
I am in familiar territory
down from the cold North
to the mild winter of a dry, cactus-filled pasture
it is home, in a way

the cows graze this desert pasture
uncaring for those who watch them
those wishing they were a simple farmer
up at dawn to till the earth — whatever’s left of it —
or even a cow, uncaring for humanity
even in the sweet release of slaughter

I like watching them graze
it means the cactus desert has more to it
than just scrub and dry riverbeds
memory is created here
I will not forget this desert pasture
even as my sister sped by
unestablished memory

we pass all the ways they try to save the earth
the farmers who still love that stretch of scrub
I am awed by the vastness that are their measures
who could not want this?
I ask knowing the answer
They don’t want the cactus-pasture
their thumbs rub a different shade of green

home doesn’t change on the surface
each time is a comforting return
knowing I’ll see desert-green pastures
yet as unchanging as myself
both are happy lies trapped in idle memory

~~~~~~~

©Abigail Siegel, 2019

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MA in Classics: Latin poetry as well as myth and folklore. Writes mostly poetry and book reviews. Part-time Latin tutor: https://latinbyabby.wordpress.com/

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