#88 Among the Willows by Wendy Brown-Báez

We turned to each other
on the bank of the Rio Chama,
you wrapped in a shawl woven
of rainbows and grief. Your long hair
rippled in a dark wind
as you removed your clothes
to plunge into its icy waters.

You shivered next to a memory
of a campfire, coals scattered to the
four directions, a smell of
tarnished sins. You cried out
to the spirits of the canyon,
stone-shaped ancestors, silver sage.

We turned to each other and
an ancient flame as quick and
golden as sunset lit your hair.
I touched your solitude for a
brief moment. I heard our names
whispered by the branches
of the old gnarled trees.

Wendy Brown-Báez is a writer, teacher, and performance poet.  She has published poetry and prose in numerous literary journals and is the author of the poetry books Ceremonies of the Spirit and transparencies of light. Wendy began performing as part of a Santa Fe women’s group called Word Dancers.


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