Time Scale

In a new development in this desert,
all life—cactus, ocotillo, mesquite, creosote-bush,
cinnabar tinted quartz—all life

draglined and backhoed
into another new suburban diaspora—
scorpions waited.

After the block walls had risen
and the unguarded moon had risen,
the scorpions began to climb up out of their eons

like the time-line in your old geology book.
The scorpions took the vertical way
out of the Ordovician to the site of your mortgage.

Then the pest-control trucks appeared
and poison-hoses blasted the scorpions back,
but not to the oblivion you wanted them.

Scorpion tracks,
when you look into your conscience, mark
the rock-wall punctuation between dream-house and dream.

Scorpions climb up over the night-wall of your waking,
skitter unheard into the interstices of your impervious
rattling scales.

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.