A poem.


winter in the desert has a type of poetry all its own
 the way silence bears the weight of snow
 and the sun struggles weakly through an ash colored sky
 weak and weary, like a swimmer without rest
  it's as if a young man on a trip with his parents and younger brother
 would awaken at 6:30 one frosty morning
 (the dawn being a mixture of pink and black)
 stepping out of his motel room in a tiny town in southern Utah
 and in five minutes of empty staring
 could store up enough wonder for the world
 that he could begin asking himself what college was for anyway
  on a trip to see Bryce Canyon in the days after Christmas, before the new year
 so that when the boy awakened, the two of them alone without their parents
 could stare together for a solid ten minutes
 each of their five minutes joined together
 and say nothing, their hands jammed in trouser pockets
 air like smoke pouring from their mouths and nostrils
 gazing at the bare mountains covered with snow
 like massive cakes with frosting
  sensing that this stuff of postcards
 combined with the fading phosphorescence of the motel's neon sign
 was very good, and beyond all explanation
  – Paul Flodquist

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.