When the Colorado River Runs Dry
A Coachella Valley Farmer Reflects on the Water Source He, His Date Palms, and People and Animals Across California Rely On
Even as she was going blind, my mom, ever the poet, delighted in sitting out among the palms and birds, and enjoying and visualizing the scene, as I irrigated my date gardens in the Coachella Valley of California.
In her 1997 poem, “Colorado Water,” she wrote:
The palm said, “My clover is cool around my bole, over my hidden roots.
My fronds clatter, crash
like waves in the far off sea.”
I follow the tradition of thousands of years, of date palm growers diverting the waters of the Nile, the Tigris and Euphrates …