A crack runs through the heat
between Benson and the state line
where thunder sweeps the kingbirds
from wires along the highway
while Tombstone rattles
in wind moving in from the west
so hard the leaves in the cottonwoods
along the San Pedro
flash two greens at once. Boulders
and clouds are interchangeable
at Texas Canyon; hail blasts the paint
from tavern walls in Bowie; and the interstate
flows past Willcox
with traffic stalled while the waters
of time run off the hunched backs of Turkey
vultures who grip hard
the dying boughs on which they roost.
A pale road is submerged
in an earth-reddened flood with nowhere
to stop. The Huachucas strain
at their foundations
and the runoff to the grasslands
soaks down as far
as mammoth bones buried
in a tropical millennium. The power
fails in Tucson, while creation’s light
flares over Miller Peak.

By David Chorlton

Thunderstorm over desert mountains

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems have appeared in many publications on- and off-line, and reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. His most recent book, A Field Guide to Fire, was his contribution to the Fires of Change exhibition shown in Flagstaff and Tucson in Arizona. Click HERE to visit his web site.

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