Night Comes On West Of Albuquerque

 

Shafts of sunlight redden the Western clouds, then darken, and die.

Dusk deepens ahead of me,

turning wooded rills in the hillsides black and featureless.

Northward, night gathers over the mountains,

the swift dark coming now, full of enormous clouds threatening snow.

The highway dances with tumbleweed.

Sudden flashes over the tarlines as headlights blink on.

On the hood, Laguna, Acomita, Grants, Continental Divide:

still ahead, miles and miles of the engine’s warmth

and the highway’s serenity;

carrying me hour by hour

past places once sought earnestly by travelers afoot in the weary dark.

Somewhere ahead is the place where I shall sleep,

listening to the wind,

lulled by the muttering ghosts of all these places I have left behind.

 

February 25, 1995

Revised December 26, 1995