Carrizo Plain

By Isabelle Walker

I wonder why I like lonely places
like grasslands, so empty you can almost hear
ten miles beneath your feet the earth’s plates
grinding and pushing the dusty Temblors clear
to Mexico. A quarter-million acres
of native grasses withering at your feet.
Wind whistle whirls granules of dirt
in little twisters like ghosts of Chumash
dances. You have to shut your eyes tight.
When the blunt-nosed lizard scrams for the nearest
rat hole, it reminds me how my sisters ditched
and teased till I went running to my room
thinking one of them would check on me
and waited while the moon set through the trees.

Isabelle Walker is a Santa Barbara based-poet and teacher with a special interest in the natural world and recovery. Her poem about the January 2018 Montecito debris flow won first prize in Seven Hills Review’s 2018 Literary & Penumbra Poetry Contest. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. Also by this poet: "If I Wrote a Poem"