98 in the Shade

98 in the shade
as ravens circle up to the sun
Heat shimmers from the slickrock
the air is hot
Here in the shade
a rattler waits
under a juniper tree
for the afternoon wind
Here in the shade
I sit still
look at marks
some old ones painted
on the sinuous canyon walls
that rise, sheer, before me
Still, like the air
still, like the lizard, the snake
out of time in this dry canyon,
I sit watching the pictures on the wall,
waiting for them to speak.
I could stay here forever,
become stone
and never know more of the stories
than I do right now.

–Cedar Mesa
Grand Gulch Wilderness, Utah






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