In Antelope Valley

In Antelope Valley

BY Anke Hodenpijl

Look at these poppies,
a cloister of nuns,
veiled in orange petaled habits –
They lift their faces to the sun each morning.
These saints in training burst open,
release a mystical breath,
my champions of springtime prayer.

An easy breeze, takes their hand,
they sway together, happy-go-lucky,
revel in their forty-day calling
to heal these gentle hills,
to carve the footpath with thanksgiving.

When blooms, heads bowed, retreat,
a broken desert returns.

The blue bellied lizard basking in sun,
winks at the lone hiker,
scurries away,
and reminds this sojourner,
salvation is always on the other side.