Even with drought, with gray greasywater the wild grass grows,shallow roots trolling in veinynetworks, to sprout yellow-baby patches, and all in onemorning burst monstrousstraw filaments robustas bushes in a rainyfallow year. Even goats maynot eat it, that gnaw on cacti thorn,lip tires in abandoned canyons.True trees need deep watering,and there is none to be had todaywhen sunshine is a curseand stark skies blush for nothingat dusk and dawn. Shamelessness undoesus—spigots flowing, savinggray water for roots that alonecan trawl these withered earths. [End Page 69]
Shirley Geok-lin Lim is professor emerita at University of California, Santa Barbara, where she was awarded the Multiethnic Literatures of the United States Lifetime Achievement Award. Her first book, Crossing the Peninsula (1980), received the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, and was followed by seven poetry collections, three short-story collections, two adult novels, a children's novel, and The Shirley Lim Collection (2013). Her memoir, Among the White Moon Faces (1996), received the American Book Award.