Along the road the CCCs
chiseled in the 30s, men and mules,
wheelbarrows and Fresno scrapers,
miles of sidehill on perfect grade
while the old oak watched
from the saddle
before the place got a name.
Coyotes trapped or shot
were tied with baling wire and hung
from a long, horizontal limb
through summer heat and rain
before becoming skeletons.
How many bones beneath it now
howl from its hollow limbs?
Termites feed forever
Nary an acorn for squirrel, turkey, or deer
Will Joshua trees replace the mighty oak
As the desert tortoise rushes to land that wont longer support a single lamb?