Passing Through Truth and Consequence, NM by Kate Delany
Thoreau went into the woods
to confront the essential facts of life
but I’ve been there too many times,
too close to home, all those
distractions of lichen and moss felt,
filigree of traipsing vines and branches
to decode like loopy handwriting.
Far better in the desert to confront
the essential facts. High plains deliver
their unsparing truth: land and sky
painted side by side, adjoining
brush strokes, none of ocean’s cool
equivocation, pretending there could be
a quick rinse off then back at it. No.
The tinted rocks seem to say
there are more colors in a bruise
that you realize, each beautiful.
Enjoy them all, as one lapses
into another like the long solitary days
to come. Climbing the dunes
at White Sands the blinding gypsum
blankness was a baptism.
The world is wider than it seems
hewn down in your corner, sticky
with the sweat of your labor, birthing
a stillborn dream. Take a season at least
to exchange the faces of humans
for those of plants, animals, insects,
beings that understand their season,
adapt, do not rail against it. Desert
bighorn climb to the mesa top
with mincing steps. Consult the plateau
whiptail striped blue. It takes
its colors from the canyon. Cornered,
the lizard relinquishes a piece of itself.
It knows it will heal. You will too.
Kate Delany is the author of two books of poetry--Reading Darwin (Poets Corner Press) and Ditching (Aldridge Press). As a freelance writer with a focus on health and wellness, parenting, and social justice, her work has appeared in publications such as Parents, Romper, Dismantle and The Salve. She is a columnist for CF News Today. Her poetry has been featured in such literary magazines as Barrelhouse, Jabberwock Review, Poetry Quarterly, Room, Sky Island Journal and more. She lives in Southern New Jersey with her husband Seth, two kids--Samara and Felix--and two cats--Potato Chip and Mischief. When she isn’t busy writing, she is usually reading, gardening or sewing. Read more of her work at https://kdelany.journoportfolio.com/ or https://katemdelany.medium.com/