In Redrock Country – St. George, Utah

– for Susan Ream

They call this Color Country
I’m waiting for you to paint
if you can without much water.

It is after all the desert
where suddenly dozens of crows
fly out in all directions

this evening when I’m thinking of you
north in snow melting to spring runoff
waiting to mulch for squash, tomatoes
zucchini, your own color country.

I gave up long ago trying to grow
anything except poems, content
to drink your comfrey tea

to write you long letters
from green places I traveled
avoiding I thought the desert.

But I’m back where red dirt
grows it seems crows
and clouds blaze orange

in a sky you say you’ll paint
someday, a sky truer than
any blue on your palette.

In Memoriam Dear Friend
Susan Ream 1932-2007