Poems From Desert Journal

Below are two poems from Desert Jounal by Patrick Loafman, a chapbook published by Lone Willow Press in 2001. Contact the author for information on ordering.


I find a cicada shell curled in fetal position,
its prickly limbs cling tightly to the earth,
the insect climbed out of its hardened body,
flew off, leaving me to ponder what’s left
every time something changes: and empty shell
stuck in place, while the air is alive
with wings.

Grocery Store on the Reservation

An old man pushes a cart,
skin the color of rich soil,
face wrinkled like an alluvial fan,
the store is as quiet as the desert,
no weather-talk at the checkout,
the old man merely nods,
the cashier nods back,
returns change.

On the wall is a photo:
a native shakes a white man’s hand,
both grinning more than necessary.

Outside, I pet a stray dog,
laundry flaps on lines beside square homes,
broken glass all along the roadside,
oil and beer mingle in a pothole,
promise a rainbow.

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