The Ex-Missionary Learns Mexico

After the rain we came into the low
country, the hills unrolled beneath us,
pitted with aroieas, green aloe vera plants concealed basins where water stood;
hidden from high ground like secret lakes.
We climbed from our horses and looked into
a pond, our faces shining against sky
and cloud.

There is nothing holy about hidden things;
chance has it's own way of breaking monotony
as one mile slinks
into the dust of another, but in this place
(out of mill ions allover the desert)
what seemed so dry from the trail's rim lay entangled with fertil ity, floating
in a bath of sky.

For years I had learned the desert from train windows, it's beauty no more than swirl ing dust, but when our faces rippled over brown roots,
dark as cinnabar, shooting into leafy green ... the vistas around us rose in vapour and begged

for a drink, in the distance a vulture called, and hundreds of zacadas; the hil Is rose
above us like domes.


Kristen said...

"There is nothing holy about hidden things," the poem says, but it's as if this is only what the missionary tells himself, all the while experiencing the holiness in hidden things which he tries to deny.

The hills at the end of the poem feel like the domes of a cathedral after this unexpected baptism of the soul.

Eric Sotnak said...

Those are, indeed, beautiful poems.