#23 From SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST by Linda Monacelli-Johnson

1

To postpone
succumbing to Santa Fe’s cold,
we drive down to Bosque del Apache.
Some birds winter
here; others fly on.

Cruising and pausing
along fields and marshes,
we absorb the nonchalance
of ducks and coots, the sunny
flute song of a meadowlark, the pristine
visage of snow geese
against voluptuous
mountains, the dancer’s grace
of a great blue heron, the bright epaulets
of red-winged
blackbirds, the rufous luster
of kestrels, the emblematic majesty
of a bald eagle, the unfurled
drying wings
of a low-perched cormorant,
the rolling calls and streamlined
energy of sandhill cranes.

Dreams brush us with feathers.
We rise before the sun
to resume our watch,
then flee
even farther south.

Linda Monacelli-Johnson is a writer and editor with a master’s degree in English literature. In 1977 she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, from Cleveland, Ohio. Three collections of her poems have been published: Lacing the Moon (Cleveland State University Poetry Center), Weathered (Sunstone Press), and Campanile (Drummer Press).


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