New Season of Drought
He reaches over to pull at the curtain
checks the light growing toward morning,
sighs at the sustained winds against the rattling
windows, the shimmering trees, and
rolls back, disappointed.
There are places lying beneath bare
spots in the snow where steam still rises
out of the ground, places where roots smolder
under the surface, after the fires
from the previous summer
unless—or until—the snow melts,
soaking into the soil. Tree roots can burn
for months underground and remain for years,
if what little snow there is evaporates
into a new season of drought.
She lies awake, waiting for something,
the rain that isn't coming,
a waiting that takes the self as prisoner,
a waiting that archives and inventories all those
underground roots, exploding from thirst.
words: Margot Miller, Maryland (Margot Miller)
photo: Steve Wing, Florida (sand shadow)