"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Grains of Sand

Moving, Interlude


My students
flow through my life
like the grains of sand
along the north bank
of the Red River.

Swept by the current,
the grains are sculpted
into sand bars
or drifts snagged
against old trees.
The muddy water
submerges most
of the sand,
or dissolves it,
carrying it downstream.
But in the sand bars
on the north bank,
the sun glistens off
the crystals in individual grains.
The students attract attention,
and bring vivid
relief and color
to a monochrome prairie.
The sparkling grains
stand out like memories,
before time carries
them down river.
I must go there soon
before the river rises again.

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