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Be Still and Know

john heid
On Water (March 2019)
Inward Light

Psalm 46:10

I walked.
With gallons of water stuffed in my backpack.
And much weightier matters pulsing through my head.
People have died here for want of what I carry.

Sweating, my arms glistened in the noontime sun.
Atop a ridge I paused,
my companions, unseen, were somewhere below.
We were deep in the Sonoran desert,
on the border of the Tohono O’odham Nation
and Organ Pipe National Monument,
midway on a ten-mile trek.
Up came a breeze as desert breezes do.
From nowhere. Everywhere.
Sudden refreshment in the midday heat.
Then a calm pause.

Beside me came a soft whistling. Intermittently.
What was it? Who was it?
A nearby Organ Pipe cactus swayed,
          betraying the source.
The breeze was softly playing the cactus spines,
like some celestial instrument.
A desert harp solo.
And my restless mind was eased. All will be well.
All will. . .
Be still and know. . .

john heid is a member of Pima Monthly Meeting in Tucson, AZ (IMYM).

Poetry desert activism immigrant rights

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