Emily Strauss

Questions You Might Ask
How do these lizards know they live
on such a small mesa top
not much bigger than the public
library below in Chinle, and if
they venture too far, they will drop
1200 feet to the hot canyon floor
where they would undoubtedly be
crushed, food for a passing magpie
and how do they know that thirty miles
of desert floor surround their tiny
island, so that even if , miraculously,
they survived the fall, they would
never complete the walk to the next
sheltering crag before plunging night-
fall froze them in their five-toed tracks?


Emily is a semi-retired English teacher who lives in California.