Line of Descent

Against the backdark, bright
riband flickers of heat lightning. Nearer
hills begin to show, to come clear
as a hard, detached
and glimmering brim
against light lifting there. And here, pitched over
the braided arroyo choked with debris,
a tent, its wan, cakey,
road-rur color. On the front stake, two
green dragonflies, riding each other, pause,
Look! cries the boy, running, the father behind him
running too —
and the canyon opening
out in front of them its magisterial consequence, cramming
vertiginous air down its throat —
to snatch him
from the scarp.