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Colorado Drought

Drier than the left husks
of last year's corn, drier than dead lichen,
air carries death to leaves,
a red dream burning stem and flower
with its flare.

Overtaken by air's fire,
the greens turn brown, then browner.
Wind sears the afternoon,
twisting the yuccas on hillcrests
while the mountains melt.

In fear of their homes,
people gather in restless circles
and the earth bakes hard.
In the hush of noon, the sun lets down
its terrible streamers.

— Mary Crow

Poet Laureate of Colorado, Mary Crow created ‘Colorado Drought’ especially for this inaugural issue of Headwaters magazine.

A teacher in the Creative Writing program at Colorado State University, her most recent book of poems is I Have Tasted the Apple (BOA Editions, Ltd., 1996). Over the years, she has planted more than a thousand trees and lost many to drought.

River of Words Poetry Contest:
Colorado Winner

I am the Headwaters

I am the headwaters plunging, and racing down rocky walls,
I am the river foaming, rushing over rocks worn smooth at my touch,
I am home to the river otter, swimming playfully or snoozing on my banks,
I am the carver of the canyons,
I am the home of the fish, small and sleek or big and fat,
I am the playground of the ducks,
I know where I am going and I will get there,
I flow slowly,
I rush swiftly,
I am the commander of the floods,
I guide the trickling streams,
I am as clear as the wind in the mountains,
I never stop my journey to the salty sea, where I tickle the brightly colored fishes,
I am the greatest traveler in the world, if you don't believe me try and beat me, for I am
the river.

First Prize
Katie Post, Grade 6, Logan School, Denver
Teacher: Jamie Newton

1750 Humboldt Street, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80218