Silent Lessons


Goodbye Mother, Goodbye Father. Hello creosote, Hello strangers. Welcome to the desert. This is your new home. Let me drink you in, I want to swallow you whole. Your dust chokes me instead, Blinds me, Coats me, How inconsiderate. Tell me your fears, Listen to my story. I will tell you of the seasons, I will show you the ocean. Your jokes kill me, Tell it again. Don’t touch that, Or that, That too, Oops… What did I just step on? Does anyone have tweezers? Drip, drip, drip. Canvas proves stronger than any rain. Sadly, holes unleash frustration. It is 4 a.m. It is dark. Good morning Mojave. My back is breaking, I’m mining for rocks, it seems. This pick-mattock weighs at least a ton. It’s laughing at me, It’s taunting me. Who threw that dirt clod? The thermometer must be broken, It’s twenty-what degrees outside? My toes will surely fall off, Call an ambulance, Call my mother, She’ll want to hear about this. It’s happened: I have transformed. I have scales. I itch. Must. Seek. Moisture. Where am I? Oh yeah. A picture from home, A song sparking nostalgia. I miss you too… Wish you were here… How many days left? Too many. Don’t tell me what I don’t know, Show me what I dream of. Balls of fire shoot through the sky, There is beautiful clarity. Here I sit, Sulking. Why didn’t you warn me? Where were the signs telling me to “Turn Back Now”? What’s that? You did? There were? I must not have been paying attention. Eruptions of laughter resurrect my soul, Smiles welcome me into consciousness. “Good morning, the eggs are ready. The coffee is hot. How did you sleep?” A grumble of appreciation, But soon I am alive and I have joined in. So I had this crazy dream last night… What is the price we pay for knowledge? How much do words of wisdom cost? Not $10.99 at Barnes and Noble, Or $20,000 a year for a nap during a lecture, no. Anger, frustration, joy, excitement, sweat, tears, blisters, aches. Get emotional. For some, it’s unbearable. For all, it’s tiring. Why are we battling a place we have come to love? Our efforts futile, We give in. Enjoy the silent beauty. We stand as one, No man left behind. We adapt to the unfamiliar, Do not fold under difficulty. We are desert rats, Hear us roar. -Alyssa Beck