Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Jill Jones

THE DESERT

THE DESERT

THE DESERT

She\'s learning about the desert
where things are not as flat as they seem.
She needs the plain, the wind, scrub,
no longer believes mirages
on straight, never-ending roads,
wants nothing to do with rain,
not even a sudden flash flood.
But climbing dunes reworked by wind
she finds traces of running water,
fresh scouring of ground, rilled surfaces,
ephemeral stream channels.

She wants to learn to live
without comfort or knowledge
of the future, each day its own,
stretched out like any other.
There\'s only a long horizon,
she wants that secret to stay there.

She\'s like plants at ground level
surviving as seeds through dry periods —
tough outside while inside
she\'ll grow the grassland of dreams,
a wild place of her own,
until rain memory tracks her waking.
She stumbles out by the highway,
into a new mirage, oasis —
that road where past and future meet
only at the horizon
and there\'s all that walking in between.
Close

THE DESERT

She\'s learning about the desert
where things are not as flat as they seem.
She needs the plain, the wind, scrub,
no longer believes mirages
on straight, never-ending roads,
wants nothing to do with rain,
not even a sudden flash flood.
But climbing dunes reworked by wind
she finds traces of running water,
fresh scouring of ground, rilled surfaces,
ephemeral stream channels.

She wants to learn to live
without comfort or knowledge
of the future, each day its own,
stretched out like any other.
There\'s only a long horizon,
she wants that secret to stay there.

She\'s like plants at ground level
surviving as seeds through dry periods —
tough outside while inside
she\'ll grow the grassland of dreams,
a wild place of her own,
until rain memory tracks her waking.
She stumbles out by the highway,
into a new mirage, oasis —
that road where past and future meet
only at the horizon
and there\'s all that walking in between.

THE DESERT

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Gemeente Rotterdam
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