Heat Wave

A girl, young woman really, in a kelly-green wedding dress
walked down a tree lined stone path
as whiptail lizards scurried for cover.
One of the trees was two trees merged low on twined trunks.
On a head-high branch a spider web displayed a hundred dew drops.
The busy street noise was lost under the murmurs of gossipy guests
who believed brides should wear white no matter what.
The young woman laughed at their discomfort.
A hummingbird attracted to the groom’s sun reddened ears
hovered for a moment, noticed only by the minister.
A Taos dog wandered into the ceremony.
Three different butterflies rode the dog’s shaggy black back.
The dog dug up the soup bone the butcher gave her last week.
It was hidden near the park bench dedicated to the memory of Lynn.
As the bride approached the groom a roar went up
from the little league baseball game across the street.
I witnessed them speak their self-written vows before god
and community, then lean in to kiss each other.
The kiss lasted so long and with such passion
it initiated that summer’s heat wave.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


When I lived in Taos, NM in the late 1990s there was a category of dog called Taos Dogs who had no owner, but the community as a whole took care of them. The dogs simply wandered the town and were generally well behaved. They fit in with Taos’s semi-homeless human population of folks that lived in tents, school buses, abandoned cars, or bummed stays on couches. I remember Taos as a beautiful place, but with a full time job it was hard to pay the bills.

Love & Light


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