Sunday, November 23, 2014

chihuahua desert blues

empty west texas nowhere
creosote everbrowngrass
flatflatflat ground until its notanymore
mountains and tabletopped mesas
asphalt strips slice through ancient limestone
relentless burningsunhaze
skyblue eightymilesanhour
eighteenwheelers rvsuhauls
lonelysolitary travelers
roadside crosses plastic flowers
eastbound freighttrains
doublestacked cargo
graffiti spraypainted containers
drywashes waterless riverbeds
stopat vanhorn pilotstation
nobodys destination
gasup and drivesomemore

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Writing exercise at the El Paso Writers' League

Moderator Julia Duncan asked members to write in 15 minutes about either the best or worst moment of our lives. Here is my effort:

My office phone rang. Almost everyone in my office had left for the day or had one foot out the door. I'd had a productive, satisfying day, and a personal phone call was just the thing to top it off. Ah! My brother Steve's voice. I always enjoyed long-winded chats with him.

"How're you doing, big brother?"

"Not good. Mike died today."

My brain didn't process the blow at first. I had him repeat himself. His son wasn't even 40 yet.

"Oh my God, Steve! I'm so sorry!"

"I am too. And Peg has been crying all afternoon."

My chest heaved in sharp, shallow breaths. This wasn't happening. Not again. We had lost our brother Larry three years before, and now this.

"I haven't cried yet," Steve said. He prided himself on containing his emotions, but how--how could he not cry? My eyes welled up for my nephew. As I hung up, my boss walked by, and I stopped her. I just had to tell someone.

"Kathy." She turned and looked at me. "My nephew just died!"