Around me, wild shapes and sounds
alive—some begging rain, some
angling for continued dry—and I,
these old bones and softening flesh,
stand ready for the worst of it
as January green turns gray.
Beside sun-glint spirals, long chrome
lug nuts spinning, Mack truck rumbling
off Tehachapi into an exhaust cloud
trapped at the end of the San Joaquin,
we submerge like aquatic bugs
beneath the moss of a water trough
as we listen to the chattering news:
the muffled lines of script
for the multi-dramas beyond us.
We have been away and forgotten
what home looks like, what fence
beneath drought-killed oaks
needs attention first, which cows
most need hay—a murky purpose,
but we are ready for the worst of it.