At Midnight

by Emily Strauss

At midnight the sky cleared
in pure silence, not a blade
of grass rustled, I arose
to note the pale cliffs faded
by the nearly full moon
its white light glowing
off the cholla, making them
sparkle in their spiny arms—
I slept again—
in the morning thick bands
of clouds returned blowing
fast aloft, the sun rose trying
to shine between the layers,
cold yellow showing among
the grays, the water frozen
in the spigot, the coyote
trotted back through camp
black-chinned sparrows
clung to the yucca spines.


Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry. Over 160 of her poems appear in dozens of online venues and in anthologies. The natural world is generally her framework; she often focuses on the tension between nature and humanity, using concrete images to illuminate the loss of meaning between them. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.