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.
“At the Bomb Testing Site” is reprinted from The Way It Is: New & Selected Poems by William Stafford (Graywolf Press, 1998) by permission of the Estate of William Stafford.