Empty Stretches Along Desert Highways
from a painting by Featured Artist Terry Davis vol.193 ~ July 2017
by Gail Denham

Astonishing, amazing, that's how
I view these huge stretches
of nothing we pass at 60 MPH.

Miles and miles of nothing
but flat land, scattered with stones,
scrawny bushes and lava hiccups.

Around us, hills change color all day.
When the cliffs come close, we see
cave shadows—could we live there?

Each time we drive over a pass,
the weather says "hot" or "rain"
maybe. The days belong to the sky.

Over against the hills, a rainstorm
makes a lovely round downspout,
like a funnel of sunshine from the clouds.

The land sends echoes back to me,
slurps in heavy rains. Small volcano
mounds scatter across sand.

The desert dries, cracks and shrivels,
sometimes looking like scorched
butterscotch pudding, with raisins.

All that empty land, wide open
spaces with only occasional ranches;
no freeways, supermarkets or milling
crowds make me sing with happy.


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