The Dorothy Stewart Trail Santa Fe, New Mexico

The Dorothy Stewart Trail
Santa Fe, New Mexico

By Julie Moore

Whiptails, with their seven yellow stripes
    head to tail, their pale blue bellies
         and turquoise-tinted throats,

dart across the trail I walk,
     sun hot as jalapeños,
          air dry as the dirt below

that somehow cacti and aloe,
     black pine and sagebrush
            suckle —

a place where every mineral in my will
    meets my fright (two roots, entwined,
         protrude from the ground

like the heads of snakes)
    and can collapse like earth
        exhausted from the weight of heat

or forge a new course
          like these copious chips of mica,
              crumbs of light worth following anywhere.

Julie L. Moore is the author of Particular Scandals, published in The Poiema Poetry Series by Cascade Books. Her other books include Slipping Out of Bloom and Election Day. Moore’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Image, Nimrod, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, and Verse Daily. Her work also has appeared in several anthologies, including Becoming: What Makes a Woman, published by University of Nebraska Gender Programs, and Every River On Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio, published by Ohio University Press. You can learn more about her work at julielmoore.com.

Featured image courtesy the author.  Author photo by Carol Sybenga.