Postcard from Las Cruces: January 23, 2015

We drove south all day,
more than 200 miles
into the Chihuahuan desert.
The sun warmed our car
like a solar oven.
Yet near Las Cruces,
the Organ Mountains rose
varnished with snow.

Downfeathers of snow
cloaked the waxy leaves
of creosote bushes.

The Yucca plant
stood at attention
like a comical crane.
Lanky stalks shed snow,
but sword-shaped leaves
at the base of the Yucca
fanned out
and collected snow,
like white fruit falling
into a basket.

Once in Las Cruces, our car
navigated clear roads.
At a red light
the car idled.
Opposite the car,
a snowman
seated on a city bench
stared blankly at us
with coal black
impenetrable eyes.

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