Fracking in South Texas
by Carol Coffee Reposa

A drive to the Valley:
Mile on mile
Of heat and mesquite,
A steady beat
Of sun and prickly pear,
Steam rising off the blacktop
In an endless breath
Until I leave the Interstate
And head south for Three Rivers.
There the roadbed
Starts to crack and sink
Beneath the weight
Of Macks and giant rigs,
Air travel and AC.

Sandwiched at the stoplight
Between two eighteen-wheelers,
Dozens more ahead, behind
I look at their freight--
Those pipes three feet across, those drums
Of unnamed liquid,
Girders, jacks and pumps--

And then I think
About their destinations,
Spaces they will fill.
Whose water will catch fire?
Which rancher's back
Or spleen or pancreas
Will sprout strange growths,
Whose fields
Will heave and shake
With seismic fever,
Whose Herefords
Will fall sick,
Their bodies bloating in the sun
Before I reach George West?

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