Saturday, February 1, 2014

Before the White-winged Dove Returns

White-winged Dove in my Tucson yard 4-13-2013

I will be gone before the White-winged Dove returns
Before the monsoon rains scent the desert air again;
I will not be here to see the lesser nighthawks slice through the twilight
Or hear the twittering chatter of purple martins in flight.
I will not see the cactus bloom this year,

painting the desert in a riot of color in spring
as Palo Verdes burst with yellow blossoms along tree lined streets.
There is no way to convey this desert landscape.
You must be here to smell the fragrance of creosote after the rains;
You have to stand on your patio on a moonlit night and feel the desert wind caress your legs
While the coyote chorus sings down the canyon and calls up the moon.
You must be here to hear the Cactus Wrens cackle on a hot summer’s day,
Or hear the Rock Wrens trill from the mountain slopes.
I will not be here when the white-winged dove returns to perch on saguaro blossoms,
But, I will know they are here.
I have seen them before and I will know they are here again—desert birds in a desert landscape
Rich with life and memories of things seen and done and still to be done
When the white-winged dove returns.

~kathie adams brown (January 28, 2014)