Clear and Mysterious

James Cervantes


"What is rare and difficult is the ability to be
clear and mysterious at the same time."
    -- Miller Williams

She wore boots and spoke the lingo
but was not of this place -- we all agreed.

Neither was her dog, who fetched rocks
when he could find them, and whose shaggy coat
had to be shorn continually. And then

there was her car, one of those tinny things
with heavily defined parts not meant
to be looked at. Pure function

attached itself to everything she did,
such as the hundred feet of orange
extension cord and the portable fridge

at a potluck in July, and the solar oven
set up in the park at dawn.

She wore a parka and had a sled
behind her dog, something we had never seen

but agreed it was what escaped us
in years of high desert snow, in our lives
of living what we knew. Spring equinox

she defined as shedding fur
no matter what air said or night whispered.
We knew and did not know

that when it was time, it was time.
We wore boots and spoke the lingo.

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