Desert Wish

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANotes from Alexis:

     This was written in 1952-53 while Mom was in California. She would be about 19 years old, and had spent most of her life in Texas.

Desert Wish

Have you ever walked in the desert at night?

With the snakes on the prowl,
and in the distance heard a coyote howl.
Or watched as the moon made soft sand shine
and stood transfixed at a cougar’s whine?

Well, I have.

I’ve felt the cold wind blow
down from the hills and over snow.
Snow lay thick and white upon sand,
now that’s a desert of a different brand.

Have you ever longed for a drink of water?

With your heart and soul a flame with thirst.
cursed sand til your lungs near burst.
Or with swollen tongue and face ablister
for a drink, you’d call the devil mister?

Well, I have.

I’ve crossed that desert from dawn to dark
and eaten dog down to the bark.
There’s an itch and a memory lingers
where I lost a leg and two good fingers.

Have you ever stopped in a gay saloon?
Drunk red wine, laughed, then cried
sometimes truthed, but mostly lied,
during stories told and re-told
How you lost your life-long gold?

Well, I have.

And I’d do it again for my love
of sand beneath and sky above.
for the feeling of quiet, man-forsaken space.
How I love this desert place.
Copyright Alexis Campbell-Jansky 2013
Edited by Richard Jansky

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