The windows here are double paned against the pain
of desert heat, kept carefully outside the windows.

But not the heat of the glare of the sun, the heat of dervishing dust motes
frictioning wildly against each other, against the treacherous
warm shine of atoms breathing hot in their morning excitement.

Outside, the granitic atoms of the butte shelters my house
from my view here, the moribund atomic pile in the middle
of our angry National Guard base, atoms of the official militia,

atoms of rifles, of stores of seething bullets, the antique F87 jet fighter,
stable now in retirement from the unwon war before more unwon wars.

But I cannot see all that from here, through the double insulation of the windows.
The biding rage is insulated from me by the swaying atoms of trees,
Aleppo pine mostly, and eucalyptus, some ash, a silk oak or two,

and more pine, and the park on the other side of the drive and the wall,
atoms of pale spring grass, a new plowed infield
all cleared and waiting for the potential atoms of school boys

with their ancientness of ball and bat (more atoms, good ash), up wind,
if only for this morning, up wind from the lure of the busy atoms
that surround that red granite butte, if only for this single short morning,

on the other side of the double panes, stifled atoms, stubborn clarity.
Atoms of the breath of my natural plea to the playing boys.

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.