The Descanso Poems

Author | Paula Lozar

1. Jornada del Muerto

The cross in the median
flaunts a wreath
of red plastic daisies

And a man’s jacket
draped over the arms
as if he claimed a chair
and stepped away

The Jornada takes some
with lack of water
and some
with too much drink

Golden sundrops
flourish at the roadside
but wilt when the rains end

White smoke on the mountain
vanishes on the wind
but the scorched stumps remain

With every passing truck
the empty sleeves lift and settle
and the shoulders shrug
as if with flesh and bone

2. Solar Cell

A cross
fenced with blue-white lights
as if to box the soul in

Draws in daylight
and releases it into darkness
as simply as breathing

The moon
on its nightly passage
fills and empties
empties and fills

Wires rust, bulbs shatter

Only the stars
shine unchanged
as the name
on the cross fades

3. Mountain Ranch

A vulture’s shadow
glides across the highway

Dry leaves flock
and scatter like quail

Two large crosses
shelter three small ones
as they could not
in life

Behind them
the burned forest
puts out hesitant green feelers

About the Author | Paula Lozar is a retired technical writer, aspiring mystery novelist, and has written way too much poetry and published way too little.