Arroyo of Dreams

In sleep, I drift through unfamiliar landscapes, scanning rock formations for other signs of life, feeling like a space traveller, far from green fields and horizons lined with oak and birch.

In the distance, a cow is screaming across the arroyo. Its powerful anguish metamorphoses into a dust devil, a column of sand towering above rocks and giant cacti. It whips me into its arms and spins me into the arroyo. My feet barely skim the surface of the dried-out riverbed, wide as a small town and deeper than my dream.

On the other side, the cow is caught in a tangle of roots. a gnarly grip on the cow’s spindly legs. Its eyes flash acknowledgement, then turn dull as it writhes in pain. I reach for it with both hands, grasp its neck and tug.

I wake up in a desperate quilted embrace.

Kim M. Russell, 9th December 2019

Image result for arroyo
Image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Prosery: Jim Harrison

Linda is our host for this Monday’s Prosery, the seventh, and she has given us a line from Jim Harrison’s poem ‘Cow’: “A cow is screaming across the arroyo.”  I had to look up the word ‘arroyo’. Tricky!

37 thoughts on “Arroyo of Dreams

  1. A Western nightmare dreamscape, very clever; great sense of place with macabre touches. I liked this one a lot. I was thinking of using a dream, but went with first person reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sascha! Dreams can seem so real, although I’ve never been in a desert or seen an arroyo. It’s amazing how the brain collects and processes details.


  2. “wide as a small town and deeper than my dream.” Truly excellent description. I enjoyed this storytelling a lot! And the photo is a perfect example of desolate beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my! Its eyes…..haunting detail! And waking up tied up in the quilt…that dream so real you reacted in your sleep to the physical thing nearest to you. Well done! I hope this dream does not materialize for you! Better to have those cats snuggling on your feet 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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