PRAYER ON A SCORCHER
Oh, Good Lord,
I suppose if the sun comes up at five, ten:ten is mid day,
an ill considered time to begin a walk
through the prairie grass stretching beyond the houses off Wildcat Reserve.
Blooming yucca and thistles just about to burst purple in the blazing sun
first catch my eye, then my legs,then my shirt – making me itch.
Show some sort of mercy, you bastards of the high desert,
mercy on me here without a hat to act as shade and fan,
sweating in sheets,
come too far to turn back around –
six of one direction, half a dozen of the other steps home.
‘Til now, at last, after an hour and a half,
taking step after step without pausing for fear my knees will lock,
wondering how in God’s name Mark and Sheryl
have walked a thousand miles and more along the Appalachian
without their own beds to fall into at night,
I stumble through my front door into the cool, A/C controlled air
and collapse with a sparkling water on my cushioned Eastlake settee.