One knows they've crossed the Arizona line
when first they come upon the eerie sight-
a tall saguaro's gentle open arms
whose welcoming seems more that just polite.
A closer look reveals decaying holes,
each filled with nesting birds that come and go.
The shelter of its needles, and some height,
protects them from the predators below.
So recognized, its candelabra shape
can mask its age, a hundred fifty years;
perhaps there's fifty more of heat and wind
before this mellow giant disappears.
A hillside grove, saguaros by the score-
let all who visit share its keen rapport.
The vineyard near the Erie shore,
while sleeping through the day,
has perfect soil and temperature
for vintage Chardonnay.
The grapevines, prepped by sullied hands,
with years in nurtured earth,
as climate now cooperates,
bestows its blithe and mirth.
Winemakers call at harvest time,
when starting season's crush,
for word has spread, this Erie yield
of celebrated mush.
Though California is renowned
for luscious nose and taste,
the finish of this piquant crop
will surely be embraced.
When building a bridge to the future,
Remember successes you've earned,
Explore the abysm bisecting
Tomorrow from lessons you've learned.
That time won't allow you to loiter,
Eternally pushing ahead,
Means present is constantly moving,
Traversing the structure you tread.
The sight of a trestle now standing
Can bring you a grand sense of awe,
Look down from the safety of railing
And you'll scrutinize spans for a flaw.
So plan for the future's enjoyment
And build your industrial trail,
The bridge's construction will always
Give chances for life to prevail.
Your family comprises the trusses,
Close friends are the arches and beams,
Perhaps like a bridge crossing canyons,
It keeps you aloft from extremes.
Jack has published over 350 poems in his career, many with his own photography. He specializes in a view of the commonplace and Americana.