The Desert: 107 Degrees on Mother’s Day

The Desert: 107 Degrees on Mother’s Day

by Judy Ray

Oh, but it’s a dry heat! The chorus repeats
like the continuous murmur of mourning doves
rustling to rest in palm trees. With a gasp
we step out into the oven, praying for mercy.

A dry heat, yes! You could flick a flint
against the wind, ignite this basin of air
between the Catalinas, the Tucson and
Rincon mountains. Such a tumblewood of fire

would sear the desert and boil the ocean.
In this tinder-dry air a snap of the fingers
is enough to make a cholla cactus jump,
a snakeskin rattle down the arid arroyo.

(The Desert: 107 Degrees on Mother’s Day reprinted from Fishing in Green Waters, Červená Barva Press, 2006)
© 2006 Judy Ray. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: “Sun Setting in The Sonoran Desert (2 of a set of 3)” by Tony Fischer
Creative Commons License

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