Elegy for Arizona Ditch

by Don Thompson Issue: Spring/Summer 2019

Abandoned canals ought to be left alone—

allowed to brood

like superfluous old men—

a place for scrub brush and its inhabitants

to hunker down out of the wind.


They’re not meant to die like this one—

scoop loaders, graders, and Cats,

lit up and howling, work all night

to inter it, ASAP,

under its own banks.


You’d expect it to be filled in—

not now, but ultimately

by the drift of post-apocalyptic dust

like its distant cousins on Mars.

No need to hurry in a dead world.

Don Thompson

Don Thompson has been writing about the San Joaquin Valley for over fifty years, including a dozen or so books and chapbooks. For more info and links to publishers, visit his website at www.don-e-thompson.com