this stretch of pavement is a hazard for a road romantic like me.
it grabs ahold of your heart,
and like some hot-damn-double-barreled trucker,
steps on the gas
and floors it.
The southern road into Chaco Canyon.
the night brought rain. windows open to the scent. the desert bursting. dawn awakened.
Woven through the tines of a garden rake, at rest against the patio wall until the weekend; on the sill of a kitchen window, opened each morning for the cool exhale of dawn and closed to the breath of the midday heat; on the limb of a climbing bouganvillia, lightly, and temporarily, snagged to a branch of mesquite. Haphazardly constructed and precariously sited, the nests of the mourning dove are feats of deconstruction.
Over a period of two to four days, the male sets out for building material, lands or climbs upon the female’s back, and distributes twigs, leaves and inorganic material for her to build the nest.
After that odd display of gender roles, duties are shared equally through the two week incubation and two week nestling periods. We watch, and many times a day worry, as a parent gently rolls and turns the eggs before ruffling over the clutch and bravely stands down great horned owls, squads of burrowing owls, greater roadrunners, tree climbing gopher snakes and the law of gravity.
In early summer we found Travis on the gravel path, too small to be out of the nest, a week shy of fledging. The empty nest on the branch of the texas ebony tells his story: a night time attack, the parent flushed, his twin taken and Travis jumps into the sky.
Named for X Gamer, Travis Pastrana, who in 2007, after first throwing back a Red Bull, jumped from a plane without a rig, free falling and summersaulting, before piggybacking onto a fellow jumper.
For a week his parents move him around, following the sun’s transition across our garden, into the warmth of the morning sun and shaded during the lengthening daylight of summer, tucked in the underbrush.
Carefully nurtured, Travis finally fledged from ground level and flew into the sky.
I stand here by the Western Wall
Maybe a little of that wall
Stands inside of us all
I shove my prayers in the cracks
I got nothing to lose
No one to answer back
All these years I’ve brought up for review
I wasn’t taught this but I learned something new
I had to answer a distant call
At the Western Wall
I‘ve got a heart full of fear
And I offer it up on this altar of tears
Red dust settles deep in my skin
I don’t know where it stops
And where I begin
It’s a crumbling pile of broken stones
It ain’t much but it might be home
If I ever loved a place at all,
it’s the Western Wall
I don’t know if God was ever a man
But if She was, I think I understand
Why He found a place to break his fall
Near the Western Wall