Touring the Southwest
The gritty drive from Santa Fe:
a slow stretching band of freeway
while I, perched like a high note in the front seat, lean
closer for pictures. To us who drive or ride on these
roads that lead to towns and other states,
the dirty mists are a nuisance. But each exit we take
turns up folks who insist the dust is a comforting sign,
a familiar blanket on a newer bed, time
kept according to old watches. An elderly local
rocks squeaky on a porch as we fill our tank with fuel;
“Another hot one, huh?” I ask grinning like a fool.
She doesn’t answer, just nods and licks her drying lips,
lifting dust from mouth to tongue, sitting as time permits.
Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt
Copyright July 17, 2004