Catalina Eddies

Dusk to dawn, sleek skunks enjoy
avocados in my yard. I give wide berth.
Before the first jogger leaves her prints
on pavement, tough raccoons appear.
They pretend they don’t hear my keys click
but they peek to make sure it’s me.
Foxes play hide-and-seek,
sometimes on our lawn, other times
across the street, but never after seven;
and brazen squirrels eye me
from the center of the street,
dare me to approach.

Will this be a day for Catalina eddies,
clouds stacked, catching like magnets
in a liquid air swirl?
Or will it blow a fierce Santa Ana,
days of fires in the hills,
smoldering chaparral,
winds so fierce birds do low-crawls?
I cast a spell for Santa Anas
the shallow coast a censer
mixed with black sage, Torrey Pine,
Engelmann oak—precious oils
to fumigate the San Diego skies,
the annual burning pulse.

Diana García, “Catalina Eddies” from When Living Was a Labor Camp. Copyright © 2000 by Diana Garcia. Reprinted by permission of University of Arizona Press.
Source: When Living Was a Labor Camp (University of Arizona Press, 2000)
More Poems by Diana García