Gratitude Humility Impermanence

Jolynn Free

How has the smoke been?
Not bad. Haven’t seen much.
That’s good. A relief
after fires on both sides.
And now rainy season.
But on the highway
I was passed by a
pickup heading north
piled with red duffels.
Fire Crew they read
each one for a life
who’s still on the line.

Walmart has the cheapest
gas and I had an
errand out that road.
At the pump a man
I could not understand
requested money
I supposed.  He was
filthy and hot and
I raised my palms to
stop his approach. The
dark woman behind
me understood him.
He brought a can from
around the corner
which she filled after
her own costly tank. 
They smiled, said goodbye.
And I had saved
ten cents per gallon.

Driving down the mountain
from Los Alamos
I saw a cloud with
a heart-shaped hole
all the way through it.
I thought of pictures
tiny cameras take
inside the body,
tissues like seaweed
waving underwater.
I pulled over but
could not retrieve my
phone before it changed.
“Useless to think you’ll
park and capture it,”
says the wise poet.

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