April 4 aka 4/4 and 4/4/2020 divided by 2 is 2/2/1010 divided by 2 is 1/1/505

and there you have it

four evens broken down to an equal number of odds,

all of little use except for the novelty of it all.

Now 505 is the area code for the state of New Mexico

where twice I lived in the course of my life;

once near Roswell before I knew of the bodies of space aliens supposedly kept in a chamber somewhere on base, or in a missile silo, or somewhere out of the way;

once in Portales after I knew that fathers die even if you promise to go to college and the wind can blow even harder and longer and hotter than in Roswell.

New Mexico is parched.  Its water is scarce.  The rainfall averages fifteen inches per year.  The Pecos River near Roswell is rarely wet, except for the occasional flash flood.  Then it is wide and swift and deadly.

The wind never stops, the wind in eastern New Mexico.  It lifts the parched earth into huge rolling clouds of dust that make your eyes water, your skin itch, and the corners of your rooms welcome spots for scorpions and lizards and tarantulas if you’re not careful and clean often.  Always put your drinking glasses upside down in the cupboard, or the sand will fill them.  And your mother will hate it, the relentless, insidious, pervasive sand that pocks the windshields and chips away paint and drives you mad in the night.

Rattlesnakes, now there’s a sound that echoes across the backyard from their hiding place beneath the doll carriage your baby sister should never have left out in the yard.  Never create a space where they can curl up to sleep, and for God’s sake never surprise one.  But if you do, and it makes to strike, chop off its head, no mercy.

And did you know that if you turn over a blue tailed lizard and rub its tummy it will fall asleep?  and it will never bite you, but will lie quietly in the palm of your hand until you move it to the ground where it will swiftly run away under a rock, or a chair, or the arch of your shoe.


rJo Herman   4/4/2020

NaPoWriMo  Day four



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