Los Alamos – calls from Wales
Last night's call is in the walls, another
desert dawn when a brittle chill surrounds
this old adobe home, and low-clouds smother
the high caldera, spilling over the rim
to wisp away. When she was ill, my mother
would have loved this place—to lift her eyes to swim
in the early haze, or sit upon the mound
and let the spittle drip, or simply mutter.
But she has passed.
Later on a hill of baked
pines, the morning shadows have withered back
to bark and the ground has parched to carrot cake,
to darken through the day until it's as black
as ruined cawl1. That's when the phone will ring
to say they've found my brother alive again.
1 cawl – a Welsh stew
Lew Watts is originally from Wales and, after many years in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, now lives in Santa Fe and Chicago in the US. His most recent work has appeared in 14by14, Able Muse, Decanto, Modern Haiku, The Raintown Review and Orbis amongst others, and his first collection Lessons for Tangueros–about the experience of learning to dance tango–was published in 2011.