From Desert Moon Rising - 1992

The Lazy D


 Each weekday morning

I ride

a counter stool

at the Lazy D café.

Regular as sunrise

I order strong coffee

two eggs over easy


crisper than

a waitress’s starched



Becky Sue

pours the coffee,

her left eye

like a stampede’s aftermath

the black and blue

still fresh.

My questioning glance

prompts the whispered


“It’s alright, don’t worry.

Sam only did it

because he loves me.”

Before I can reply

she is taking other orders,

the culprit changed

to an errant baseball.


Becky Sue lingers

at the counter’s far end,

my coffee growing cold.

Beyond the café

stretches unbroken desert.

A female jackrabbit

is teaching her offspring

that red-tailed hawks

do not swoop down

out of love,

and kangaroo rats

know better

than to share a lair

with rattlesnakes.