#153 Manita Memories by Irene Blea

I grew up where the mountain smelled of loam
piñon wood burned in cast iron stoves
berries grew close to the ground
embraced by seven shades of green beneath a blue sky bowl

after working with old women
while making lye soap outdoors in large black kettles
I knew I could lift, fly, soar high
over giant boulders, faces carved in stone

I was a parade of untamed mustangs wearing silver and jade
rubies, and ribbons, emeralds and amethyst in my full mane
turquoise, lots of turquoise
I circled in my ceremonial dress

In flight, I talk to flowers, plants, and trees
converse with wind and wild strawberries glistening near a stream
with the aroma of piñon I enjoy shades the various shade of color
indigenous faces carved of stone.

Dr. Blea is a New Mexico native and has a doctorate degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado-Boulder. For twenty-seven years she wrote academic articles and textbooks. She now writes novels, but she has written poetry since the age of nine.


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