Under the Wire

I traveled home today from being out of town, so forgive me for skipping the poetic device prompt today.  Here is a poem that was published in Wellspring a few years back.  Thanks for reading!

Kaibab Trail
by Suzanne Baldwin Leitner

We went to what the Pink Jeep Tour guide
called the big crack in the birthday cake –
the Grand Canyon.
Headed north out of Sedona
with hordes of others:
loud and irreverent or
quiet pilgrims. Once there, a few
focused like astronauts
seeking that jumping off place
that grants vista to the whole universe.
Others couldn’t bear to turn
from their lives, bawling out the spouse
pushing their children
whining about food, weather, bathroom facilities
perpetuating fascination with gas mileage-
taking up space. Wasting film.

We were like souls departed:
boundaries fell away so we were in many times
and one thousand places.
With every fraction of a turn
of the head, a new world.
Red and flat – white and ridged – scrub green and peaking –
gold and glowing, painted with the brushes
of clouds’ shadows and sunshine
by ravens and raindrops, a copper river.
Even the heavens were desultory.
White cumulus north – gray stratus east – wisps, piles, and feathers south –
to the west, only blue or bluer.
We crept way down
into the canyon in some vain
attempt to be part of it,
trying to touch the sky, as it seemed to go down
with us – this place so vast, so mystic
we – mere parasites scuttling over its surface
incapable of understanding our host
like flies on the back of God’s hand.

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