Unused Floodplain

When the Rio Grande enters El Paso
it changes from a simple river
to an international boundary
with a lot of rules.

It is not like the up stream Rio Grande
does not know rules, since it does.
But up stream rules control usage
not crossings.

After seventy-seven days without measurable rain
the river looked to be in poor health
and able to be crossed
with a hop skip and jump.

Monsoon season arrived seventeen June.
Rain fell up and down the central valley
creating feeder streams
from sandy arroyos and concrete ditches.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Close To The Edge Played In The Background

After the TV broke
and the odd monsoon arrived
I watched rain showers
float items down the street.

Pink plastic cup.
Stripped Barbie doll.
A torn love song.
And my neighbor’s melancholy.

When the rain stopped,
I turned to watch the cholla
swell before my eyes
though that is a trick of imagination.

All the Gold- and Rosefinches
returned to the damp nyjer seed
and jousted for landing
on the feeder’s mesh wall.

A dark-eyed Junco
with white tail feathers
got nicknamed
Tongue Depressor.

Tonight, I will tell my beloved
about an endangered species:
the Yellow Taxi I saw
returning neighbors home

from the holiday made longer
by mandated quarantines
and widely differing political views
constricted by No Shouting rules.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

postscript

For those of you who do not know Close to the Edge is a song by the rock group Yes. Here is a link to a YouTube playing of the song. Wikipedia has an entry on the song as well.

Confession: the poem is not about the song or any of its ascribed meanings, but is in the title because it was an ear-worm while writing this poem.