Woman and Boy

That holy grandmother may seem feeble

a forgotten beauty, once flowing and feminine

now with cracked skin stretched over

brittle bones bleached by the sun

But if her veins have run dry

her lungs are filled with a vengeful force

She’ll lie calm in the valleys,

rolling slowly over, nearly still

but the saint won’t hold her breath for long

and light whistles become deafening howls

through passes and canyons

Roaring downhill with ruthless momentum

Men cover their eyes and alter their tones

And the little boy might cry through the winter

wandered off from his mother’s heaving breast

a mighty woman, warm and wrathful,

only she can pacify her children

He’ll run with rapid heartbeat

searching in the wrong direction

soaking the ground in his path

inconsolable, his torrential tears flowing down

mountainsides and flooding foothills,

raising raging rivers in the desert

That fatherless son mirrors his mother’s salty fury

In innocence, drowning indiscriminately,

reined in barely by the pull of the moon