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Desert Spaces                     


You sent a photo of landscape utterly removed

from mine, where bare-branched trees are coming into bud,

greeny-yellow snouts of bulbs nosing up

through last year's leaves,


great gray winds creaking and breaking,

sudden snow squalls sending whirls of winter

wildness swirling even as spring sidles in.


You sent a photo of hard-packed earth, shades of gold,

tawny stretch of ridge and hollow, harsh-carved

furrows slashing through ungreened ground.


Whose inner landscape more matches the outer? 

Whose outlook promises hope, deep-rooted in the faith

of life perennially returning and whose is more in line


with stark beauty of desert spaces, where life clings

to whatever foothold it can grasp,

and against all odds




She has small hands that fit in a man's palm

like a daughter's.  Strong hands

all the same, crab claws or snapping turtle

jaws, biting through to the bone

if you get too close.  Others

must reach.  She spreads fingers

like a star and you fall

into her orbit.


Carole Greenfield grew up in Columbia and lives in New England where she teaches multilingual learners at a public elementary school. Her work has appeared in Sky Island Journal, Amethyst Review and Humana Obscura among others. Her first collection of poetry titled, Weathering Agents can be purchased HERE



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