Dust Dancing

by Mary Diesel

At a certain point you make up your mind

whether you’ll run like hell from the devil

or wait like some girl against the wall,

for you've discovered there’s no time for flirting.

You think for a moment it might not

be headed your way but then

you know when it’s time to close your eyes.

You turn your head but stand still. It arrives laughing but what can you do

with your legs stinging in a thousand places.

You dare not breathe, but it wraps

around you until it’s danced you out,

moving on to flap the flames of an ocotillo

which likes to drop red handkerchiefs

in the ensuing breeze.

Mary has been swimming around in the arts most of her Pisces life. In between, she had many jobs with many hats and some even with uniforms. Now she's able to devote most of her time to living healthfully and making even more art. Her writing life came and mostly went early on, through poetry and technical writing, but she still loves to read with an artist's eye, absorb with a reader's heart, and contribute with an editor's toolkit. Mary is the poetry editor of Big Bend Literary Magazine.

Niki Baker is a passionate impressionist painter, insightful creative, mother of three, and entrepreneur. Her vision is to empower outdoor enthusiasts to find better wellness and live in the now through inspiration and positive reflection. Her works are authentic and challenge viewers to see the world through an energetic, vibrant, and adventurous lens. She derives her subjects from her travels and love of hiking. Her most recent works were inspired by her trip to Big Bend in the Spring of 2022. You can see all of her artwork on her website at www.nikibaker.com.