Range in the Stars
For a minute I drift into the photograph of distant mountains
at dawn, a lavender peak afloat above another ridge, dark purple, the whole sky
dusted with pink, the nearer landscape in maroon, its tree and cactus shapes
emerging. The January cold of Arizona surprised me
during my first visit, held me in a clinch. I learned to love that cold
as my mother loved this mountain range, the Sierra Estrellas. She could sense
how every day the mountains breathed far away, rising from either side
toward the single crest above the dry Valley of the Sun. Even hidden
by smog, some days, the mountains were there, her privilege,
a place she would go to some day, she said. In the photograph, the range gentlydraws a line between lingering gloom and the rising light.
Still in the college classroom after all these years, Jayne Marek teaches literature, writing, and film studies and wishes she could write more. Her message to readers is to put your own writing first; if she says that enough, she might actually listen. She has given numerous poetry readings and has had short plays performed near Indianapolis and in New York City.