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Desert Directions
Sharon Waller Knutson


If you are looking for me,
no need for a map.
Just follow the hawk
southwest on the interstate
40 miles to Tarantula Turnpike,
get off at Quail Crossing.
Take Javelina Highway
20 more miles to Rattlesnake
Road, which slithers through
Vulture Valley and Coyote Canyon
past the scenic Cougar Caverns
to Road Runner Racetrack
where Rattlesnake Road dead ends.
Turn right and travel south on Bobcat
Boulevard and west on Scorpion Street.
Hang a right at Buck’s Bar and Grill
on Doe Drive then a left at Tortoise
Travel Lodge on Lizard Lane.
Turn right at Cottontail Circle and follow
the cul de sac to Cactus Wren Estates.
I will be sunbathing by the waterfalls.

This poem first appeared in Dancing with a Scorpion (Moon Journal Press 2006).
Used here with permission.

Sharon Waller Knutson lives in a house her husband, Albert, built out of clay from the land on a dirt road in the middle of a wildlife habitat and open range of the Arizona desert. A retired journalist, she writes poetry for readers who don’t normally read poetry. In 2014, Sharon sold her chapbook, My Grandmother Smokes Chesterfields, to winter visitors from all over the world in a café where her husband played guitar and sang country music. Her customers told her they expected her to publish a new poetry book when they returned each year so, in 2015, she published Desert Directions, about her life in the desert. In 2016, she published They Affectionately Call Her a Dinosaur, poems about her customers and other seniors in her life who started new careers, businesses, and relationships after they retired. In 2017, she published I Did it Anyway, poems about how she broke the glass ceiling in the newspaper business in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when women were typically relegated to the society pages. Six other books followed.Sharon's newest is The Leading Ladies in My Life, and she recently launch a new blog. Sharon and Albert (now retired from his music gig) stay busy raising assorted critters and enjoying their 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren..






Post New Comment:
Thanks for your glimpse of a very different world, Sharon. When Ethan and I watch the ads of SUVs going up the mountains and through the desert, I joke that your husband is the driver in the ad, just going home to your house.
Posted 11/02/2023 11:50 PM
Leslie Hodge:
Love the names.
Posted 11/02/2023 07:19 PM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
Thank you all for your comments. I made up the names from all the creatures we encounter in our wildlife habitat. The poem was written in 2005 and we still see them and sometimes inside our house. The cactus wrens nest in our attic and often fly through the house.
Posted 11/02/2023 06:19 PM
Lori Levy:
Are these place names real? Amazing! Great ending.
Posted 11/02/2023 03:48 PM
Arlene Gay Levine:
Made me laugh...well done!
Posted 11/02/2023 02:29 PM
Clever, creative, and cool ending.
Posted 11/02/2023 12:54 PM
Sharon's poems are always a bright flash of energy in the morning, stronger than coffee.
Posted 11/02/2023 11:52 AM
Love it! I'm betting it's no coincidence that Coyote Canyon and Road Runner Racetrack are in the same verse.
Posted 11/02/2023 10:51 AM
Fun to read--love that ending!
Posted 11/02/2023 10:33 AM
Who needs GPS when directions can be this colorful!
Posted 11/02/2023 10:20 AM
Tom Sharpe:
As one who needs directions, I appreciate this poem.
Posted 11/02/2023 09:59 AM
Such expressive place names! I would linger on Javelina Highway, though, luxuriating in the sound of it.
Posted 11/02/2023 08:44 AM
Darrell Arnold:
Critter country is the best country.
Posted 11/02/2023 08:25 AM
Larry Schug:
Gotcha. I'll meet you there.
Posted 11/02/2023 08:16 AM
Wilda Morris:
Fun Poem!
Posted 11/02/2023 07:49 AM
I bet this was fun to write! I love the last line. Simplicity meets imagery.
Posted 11/02/2023 06:41 AM

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