A moment during a family holiday reveals a misnomer: thanks to the stultifying heat of the sun no movement is possible; siesta is the order of the day. Even the heavy-duty animals used to the climate are struggling to stay upright: Oxen supporting their heads/ into the afternoon sun. Only hot-climate fruit clearly visible on the opposing slopes benefits from the molten sunlight: melons studding the hill like brass. Human life has come to a standstill and anyone capable of mental activity (who reads into distances) is way, way ahead of the poet, his wife (us), their sleeping children and the tangible signs of desert conditions: the dust settling in scorched grass. oxen: bovines used to drag heavy loads; stud: […]