We found the following poem — Growing Old in the Desert — and poet — Carmen Megeath — while exploring thrift shops in Douglas, Arizona. It is in these out of the way places that we sometimes first come across local poets. Where we are first introduced to the soul of a place. A region. A town. America.
Growing Old in the Desert
Out here it's always 100 miles or
at least 50—
the sere earth,
mountain islands, blue, rising up
out of a mesquite-green desert sea—
everything spined, spiked, tangled,thorned,
and a horsetail sky streaming
over this road
which, straight as an arrow, flies
towards the crossroads,
The dun hills at the turnoff are hungry—their bones
show through—their ridges, outcrops,
How gracefully they lift themselves up, though,
like a woman in a taffeta skirt
rising from a chair. And dry
yellow grasses crowding the road—nature's hand ready
to cover it all over, The yucca all but
out onto the highway
— Carmen Megeath
Carmen Megeath was born and raised in Wyoming and educated in Salt Lake City. She has spent many decades living in the beautiful old mining town of Bisbee, a European-like village plunked down in the middle of the Mule Mountains. She is happy, even grateful, to live on the edge of the empire, along the borderlands of Sonora, Mexico and loves, as other writers on the West have, the solace of open spaces.
Growing Old in the Desert and the biography of Carmen Megeath come from Mirage 2012. The Literary Arts Magazine designed and produced by students of Cochise College that serves the Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties in Arizona.