To California in Drought

As a girl born and raised in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, a rural and beautiful area dictated by seasons, I feel intensely the discomfort of this warm Bay Area pseudo-winter. As a child, though spring was short and summer ruled with a molten fist that blazed into fire at the slightest provocation, at least we used to have winter. I’m a bit worried for this year.

TO CALIFORNIA IN DROUGHT

Riding in a maze of neon lights,

I try to fall asleep to the memory of springs past,

when as a child I ran through grass,

high, lush, and achingly green,

to reach the hidden forest of my childhood.

 

The ground, pregnant with moisture,

cushioned my clumsy steps as I chased

that boat my dad and I carved out of styrofoam.

 

Hurry, hurry, the grass seems to push

and hold me back as I rush to beat the

small, quick rapids.

 

If I don’t catch it before the fork,

before the island of my daydreams,

I’ll have to carefully crawl between

the barbed wire to find it on

the other side of the fence.

 

But the cows scare me, and I’m

unsure if there is a bull, so I run and run,

trying to catch the boat of hope.

 

I almost reach it,

but when I open my eyes

we are in stopped traffic.

 

And in this California that knows no rain,

I realize that the trees behind my house

are cut down

and the horses graze on

dry, shorn grass of disappointment.

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2 thoughts on “To California in Drought

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