#140 Doña Alba on the Ranch by Mark L. Mosher

She could never recall the events of childhood in sequence,
For then time had spread out, forming dimensions
In which to wander, as she wandered the paths
And the meadows of the Rio Chama ranch.

As she grew and her links to the world grew more,
Time flattened into a line, a line which she traveled,
An ever more swiftly moving line, outside her, using force
And which ended in the vanishing of both line and aging self.

Now ninety, laying thin discs of masa on comal,
She thinks of herself as being just as round and flat,
And crisp and burnt with age, and brown, and time
As spreading out again, but a circle now, and within

Rather than without. She no longer does the wandering,
For that is time’s job today, as it circles within the center
Of her self. It has become warm again too, like the sun
Which heats the sage which rims the bosque of the ranch.

She likes this wandering. She first noticed it this morning
After mass in the church of San Tomas. It is expanding,
Spreading out, a place of refuge into which to fall
As with pleasure and great relief she will simply cease.

___

Mark L. Mosher is a literary translator. His great-grandparents came to what is now Hidalgo County as employees of the Southern Pacific Railroad, eventually settled in Lordsburg and left New Mexico after it became a state. He lives in San Francisco, California and writes poetry in both English and Spanish.


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