Heatwave in Phoenix
Surrounding counties hunker down
under an excessive heat warning.
Residents all stay home, anyway.
Lettuce wilts in the garden,
endosperm melting into soil
Our stucco house squats
beneath the sun,
tightening walls and windows
to keep in the shadows.
Jim is healthier with me
at home. Good food all day.
He walks in the early morning
down the middle of the road.
In a usual late spring day,
dried corpses of lizards, horny toads
and spade-foot toads litter the
pavement, near the wash. This quarantine
season, with fewer cars, they have
safe crossing. The air shimmers
from heat and moisture. I am
liberated–barefoot,in shorts and t-shirt
like the summer I was ten
when the hills, creek, and our quiet lane
formed my universe. I wanted
then to be a friend to lizards,
as I am now. Can you be
happy, in the middle of a
pandemic? The Atlantic Monthly ponders
“What to ask instead of ‘how are you’
during a pandemic?”
I ask “how are you” anyway. Because
I want to know. “We are both well,
and adjusting to this new life,”
writes my mom’s husband from Florida.
I think of the city to the north,
Phoenix. After summer’s heat,
will it rise again?
Daily Prompt: “For this prompt, you will need to fill out, in five minutes or less, the ‘Almanac Questionnaire.’ Then, use your responses as to basis for a poem.” Find the questionnaire on Na/GloPoWriMo.
Author’s note: Today, I let myself not feel guilty about being happy. It’s summer, I’m barefoot, and I’m home!