New Start Highway

A Red-tailed hawk on a power pole
surveys the last day in a year
riddled with deceit.
There is no truth
like his, with the fanning
of the primaries as he claims
his portion of the light
on a day too warm for the season.

Beside a slow running creek
the cottonwoods change color
while higher than cactus
and mesquite
the air on the plateau is clear
where big trucks roll
and a lone tree is decked
out in tinsel, hope
and stars.

We’ve reached the altitude
for ravens, with dry
earth pressed against the sky. No
stopping now:
a valley
waits for rain,
the minutes tick away,
traffic signs point toward
the future, and bumper stickers
expire at midnight.

David Chorlton lives in Phoenix and enjoys a view of the desert mountain that occupies its space surrounded by the city. He has had an unusual year in which watching the local wildlife has been a help in his recovery. Read other articles by David.