Refuge

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At 98 degrees

the stones

catch fire

beneath my feet –

fry tumbleweeds.

Even the hardiest

desert flowers weep.

The Earth cracks

along invisible fissures

and all I can feel

is gratitude for this

home. Inside

cool walls and

tile floors, low light

and lemongrass

scents open space…

Grateful plants send

out new shoots.

Outside, hummingbirds

gather like bees

under the shaded portal

for sweet nectar

while most birds sleep.

A dust devil

swirls in the distance,

and cottonwood hearts

dance like butterflies

in a fierce west wind.

A sagebrush lizard

clinging to the

shaded

adobe wall

pierces the heat

with one eye.

Even he isn’t moving.

Houses made of mud

and straw

provide refuge.

The orange eye of the sun

can’t penetrate these walls.

The Old Ones knew.