#38 Sunday Morning in the Valley by Charles Rossiter

The family homestead is nearly 200 years old
with a back yard full of goats
chickens, dogs, and pot-bellied pigs,
and this is in Albuquerque
the part of town they call The Valley.
It’s where Priscilla writes her poetry
and serves up huevos rancheros with her
perfect blazing red and mild green chile
on Sunday mornings.  It’s a tradition
Priscilla says, pouring another round
of strong coffee, black as her hair.

            Grandma did it and now
I live in the house
            so I do it.

Grandmother spirit abides
in huge cast iron skillets,
bright woven fabric that covers
the dark wood sideboard,
the long farm table
fifteen of us gather round
on heavy hand-carved chairs
that would be at home in
the governor’s mansion.

We go for seconds on the tortillas.
I take mine with lots of red and green,
lots of good talk with people I didn’t know
an hour ago.   Jimmy skips the mild green
and has to wipe his wet forehead
with a red bandana.

Then we all go out back to pet the pigs.

Charlie Rossiter, NEA Fellowship recipient and, hosts http://www.poetrypoetry.com.  He is the author of four books of poetry, a past PLR contributor and has been featured on NPR. Several of his other NM poems appear in All Over America:  Road Poems. More info: http://www.charlierossiter.com.


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