Poem 20150530

watch out for rattlesnakes
is what he says on the next leg
of the hike
and i keep my eyes on the dirt track

as if there’s not enough to think about
with the vague threat of
mountain lions and bobcats
coyotes too, i guess
and when he points out the
tarantula wasp
someone asks the redundant question
are there tarantulas here
of course there are
it has to feed its young after all

so i keep my eyes on the dirt track
and lift them occasionally to scan
the scrub for winged or coiled rattlers
or sometimes to get a look at my surroundings

it’s all scrub brush
all dusty chaparral
with an occasional lizard
or roadrunner
or hawk wheeling in the sky

it’s beautiful here, too
and lonely in its way
with the sun burning off
and the chatter of the group
and the sighing wind
on the ridges
in the canyons