Painted Desert

by Carolin Messier

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On the road
the colors of the landscape
come not only from
the shades of budding prairie,
morning light on frosted boughs,
and glowing rays cresting the horizon.

The palette is most vivid
in the illuminated faces
of strangers as they paint their lives
in hues of daily struggle
for subsistence or abundance,
superficial or profound.

In the desert
where the tired eye
sees only sand and dried up dreams,
for the eccentric, weird, and quirky
there is sky enough to breathe
and old hippies can roam free.