Features

Not In Public
Homeschooling on the rise in Southwest NM.

Happy Trails
Learning the ropes at Cowgirl Camp.

Writing Contest Winners

Some Memoirs
of Mildred's

Teen pranks at the best little whorehouse in Silver.

The Scene
of the Crime

Going back after all these years.

Waiting for Rain
Award-winning poetry.

A Day's Ride
Playtime turns deadline in the borderland.

Rattlesnake Stew
A tasty history lesson.

Columns & Departments
Editor's Note
Letters
Desert Diary

Tumbleweeds:
Pop Goes the Cello
Deer Friends: Wildlife Rescue
Sculptor Michael Metcalf
Top 10

Business Exposure
Celestial Cycles
Into the Future
The Starry Dome
Ramblin' Outdoors
40 Days & 40 Nights
Gila River Festival
Guides to Go
Henry Lightcap's Journal
Borderlines
Continental Divide

Special Section
Arts Exposure
Sandy Urban
Arts News
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind & Spirit
Gila Writers
The Healing Rose

Red or Green
Dining Guide
Diane's
Diane's Bakery & Deli
Table Talk

HOME
About the cover


What is Desert Exposure?

Who We Are

What Desert Exposure Can Do For Your Business

Advertising Rates

Contact Us



This winning poem, by Rochelle Williams, is one that could have been written only in a (normally) dry place like southern New Mexico, where the arrival of the annual "monsoon" season is awaited almost as eagerly as Christmas morning.

 

Waiting for Rain

By Rochelle Williams

 

You might be looking out the window, idly

combing your hair. A bank of clouds

gathers in the west. You see it and think,

surely it will not rain.

 

You know the desert and its

tricks; the sleight of hand,

impossible distances of blue.

Ghostly mountains floating on

thin silver lakes of

mirage.

 

You could be standing in the violet

shade of a doorway, breathing

odors of creosote and dust. Heat, sleek

and dangerous, begins to throb

incandescent

just beyond the door.

 

Clouds thicken and

fan across the sky. You think, perhaps

there is hope. Sand the color

of oxblood whirls in

diminutive tempests. There is a

distant rumble of thunder.

 

You watch a thin mauve veil

stretch across the horizon,

dipping low, whispering promises;

a ravenous wind

burns the veil to transparence.

 

You shrug, thinking, no chance.

You give yourself up to relentless

sun, heat, lassitude

remembering, sharp as a cut

lemon, the odor of first drops

on hot dirt,

the clean smell of rain.

Your heart aches with an

unnamable longing.

 

The tide of evening washes in. Doves

begin their liquid calls. Ravens skim the warm air,

riding the currents, silent and watchful.

 

The same sun that poured gold

over the world when it was new spills

its dying rays on poplar and catalpa,

on honey mesquite and pomegranate,

on the loden-green spires of cypress trees,

molten at the tips.

 

You turn from an emptying sky.

 

In the night, a breeze from the open

window stirs your hair. The gauze

of dreams in which you slumber begins to fray.

 

There is a sound tapping

at the door of your heart. Slowly, you make your

way to the surface, awaken in the cool

mystery of darkness. The sound taps and taps

and still you cannot say what it is.

 

And then suddenly you know —

not from odor or sound, not from

quick damp passing like a hand over

your brow —

but from memory buried deep,

unearthed:

it's rain. . . rain at last.

 

Rochelle Williams, who lives in Tularosa, is "madly in love" with southern New Mexico. She has published stories, reviews, poems and photographs in a number of venues, including The Eldorado Sun, Lunarosity, Earthships (an anthology of New Mexico poets) ABQArts and Lifeboat, a Journal of Memoir. She is going off to finish her novel in an MFA program this fall.

 

 

Return to Top of Page