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Desert Shadow

I heard of a death today

One of a young boy I have known all his life.

My mind racing on how it could even be possible.

Imaging his smile,

The beauty of his soft brown eyes,

Feeling the gentle touch of his tiny hand on mine.

The warmth of his soul,

The loss of him in this world


I sit here.

Questions surging through my head.

The urge for answers

The craving to understand

Realizing I can’t.

Knowing I will never stop asking.

The questions themselves out of my control


I sit here

In the shadows of the hot desert sun.

Masked in the shelter of leaves and branches

The sun penetrating through.

Its rays cascading a pattern through the nest and limbs overhead.

I see a dead cricket.

Charred by the sun.

Reminding me even the sun burns if you get too much.

Or maybe the cricket didn't get enough, food or water.

As the birds sing and chirp freely from a nearby wire.

The life flourishing near the death of the desert


I sit here protected

Between the heat and shade,

The sound of children playing and splashing in the pool.

The sound of their laughter carrying up into the brown hills like wafts of relieving wind.

The call of “Marco”, the answer of “Polo” echoing through the air.

One trying to be lost, one trying to find.


I sit here realizing how fleeting this moment is.

How quickly they will grow.

How rapidly this phase will end.

Before I’m needed in a different way.

Before they need in a different way.


I sit here, seeing the beauty of this second.

Also, in eye shot of the cricket, I feel the fear of losing it.

Looking beyond the fence at dry mountains and hills of vast dirt. Scorched by the sun.

Intolerable to live beyond an unknown point.

A fragile existence between unbearable and inadequate.


A combination of polar opposites.

Bringing life or causing death.

Questioning the edge existence teeters on

Wondering what the threshold is.


Everything having different limits.

Different breaking points.

Breathing its own breath.

Steering its own decisions.

Knowing I have to accept whatever they are,

as difficult as they may seem,

as painful as they can be.


I see this cricket, caught trying to find its way,

As I hear birds chirping, songs of life,

Tree limbs swaying in the slightest breeze,

A hummingbird tirelessly building a nest,

The wild flower in full bloom despite the drought


I sit here.

Stunned by beauty and

Haunted by death.

The pain and blessing of this moment.

The effects of unapologetic, sweltering heat,

The resilience of wild life thriving in spite of it

Delicately balancing its own bounds


I sit here,

Cherishing the darkness of this shadow.

While appreciating the power of the sun.

Hearing the calls of “Marco”

While the other voice answers, “Polo.”

One wanting to be lost

One wanting to find.

I see the beauty in the desert burn.

I see the life surrounded by death.



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