Thoughts Trailing

Jane Vogel, Arizona, 2019

By Jane Vogel

The map shows a trail, every turn. 
One more leggy old cholla claims its own 
silhouette against brush and Bermudagrass, 
branches splitting and spreading 
like open hands begging the sky.
Needles hide in blinding sunlight.
We stand at lookouts where no houses
or cars are visible 
but hypothesize 
about a face in the rock, hope to see 
spirits, but it is a newborn hackberry 
flowing from a crack. 
No time 
for permission from the sun 
that stalks the slender spaces
between boulders 
and balanced
for some dramatic 
Could a hackberry tip them? 
The cholla begs for answers.

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