The ruts
of smiles and frowns
crisscross my face
and spread out
at the corners of my lips
and eyes.

I am sucked dry,
a human landscape
at the end of a long year
without rain--
an unproductive land,
infertile and eroded by sorrow.

The road forward
is obscure and uncertain,
invisible in the blowing sand
of this dark hour.

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This Poems Story

I live with my husband in West Texas, near the rim of Palo Duro Canyon, and teach anthropology at Amarillo College. My poetry is often inspired by the unique landscape around me, but also by the circumstances of my life, good or bad. "Drought" was the voice of a particularly difficult period in which I felt powerless to act. Writing the poem was cathartic, as creative processes often are.