Winter from the Train

Part I: Reality

A Sierra sunrise across the frozen fog stymied in its attempt to leave the ground.
All the grasses of the valley frosted–
hoarfrost beard of “tule man”

A solitary palm tree takes its stand
holding out for summer
betrayed by winter’s southward invasion.

No wind.
No clouds.
All heat flees.

Part II: Hope

Come on sun–
what ever happened to
the hot hammer of summer slamming
the anvil of dry hot earth?
The rest of us caught in between.
The hammer has retreated,
the anvil grown cold and black.

Light the forge, sun.  Bring back
the fire hammer that
turns our bodies brown and
chisels lines around our eyes as we squint into its embers.

Pound us on
the anvil of high summer.

Let us smell
the dried and fading grasses,
the resinous trees in the canyon
the baked tar wafting from the ties by the Santa Fe depot.

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