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Something stirs before me but I can’t quite make out what it is.

Coming here I plainly discerned the mountainous skyline, the withering orchards once alive with migrant workers, near the meandering stream they called La Serpiente – where in those youthful seasons I would gaze in vivid reveries upon the lofty hills beyond the flowing water that only by erosion in the fullness of time had forged this exquisite valley – and by dead reckoning and assist of the tall old trees, finally made my way within reach of those promising peaks, the grandeur of their panorama. Only something stirs in the creeping shadows and I can’t make out what it is.

How soon the setting sun can bring an evening to my eyes! When a mere whisper – a whoosh to my favored ear – is a call to a fool to wager all on a flirt with a slithering risk.

The dusty scent of a fallow trail, the foreboding rustling in my path, can give pause to a long and traveled life, cause a detour at day’s end: from the summits of my callow dreams – redundant to my fading senses – to wake, come morning, to the wistful vistas from the bed of a dry arroyo.

winter lullaby
an owl in the gusty winds
trades her hoots