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The Choice


I chose to no longer be

a pure stand of Creosote bush

blooming in the desert.

I chose not to

flower yellow or to endure

with so little water or, when watered,

offer up my pungent leaves.

I refused to allow

my flexible stems

be refuge for praying

mantids or crickets

singing for love.

When my flowers

turned to fruit

I watched my white fuzz

taken west by a Santa Ana

wind. And then –

then I followed it:


I abandoned barrenness,

released my roots from

rocks and sand, rose over

the San Andreas fault

and floated skyward.

I halfway longed to hear

a cry for my return.

Below I saw a

a rattler in its

circuitous path

and a coyote gnawing

at yesterday’s meal.


As I rose I wondered if

the wind had only deafened

the sounds below, such as 

the clacking, bitter foliage

much like mine,

but I will never know.

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