Jerry Harp’s commentary in the Kenyon Review brought this poem back to mind. Always good to be reminded of William Stafford.
At The Bomb Testing Site
by William Stafford
At noon in the desert a panting lizard
waited for history, its elbows tense,
watching the curve of a particular road
as if something might happen.
It was looking at something farther off
than people could see, an important scene
acted in stone for little selves
at the flute end of consequences.
There was just a continent without much on it
under a sky that never cared less.
Ready for a change, the elbows waited.
The hands gripped hard on the desert.
These gorgeous New Mexico landscapes from Georgia O’Keeffe provide a contrast with the disturbing apocalyptic images of Nevada testing by Robert Beckmann below. Tunnel vision indeed.