#188 Leaving Santa Fe by Carol Aronoff

The smell of pinon, pungent
as chile, follows me down
Old Santa Fe Trail.
Sand blows across the road,
settling in my hair like stardust.
Sage and chamisa wave
at coyote fences, colored
by hollyhocks, lavender.
Behind them, cottonwoods
and the soft curved shoulder
of adobe wall.

From a coven of churches ring bells
that stop my thoughts, tender
solace to sinners–so many places
to pray. Tewas and Hopi offer
turquoise and dreams on altar
cloths beneath sacred trees.
I enter their temples. Crow Mother
rests on a branch nearby, gifts me
with corn for my faraway garden.

Leaving behind shops of art
and trinkets, my feet slow as sun
beats a past-noon descent.
Sky is high desert blue.
The air, wrung dry, shimmers
with heat, ancestral stories.
I feel the old ones stir my heart,
their whispers, my pulse.

Carol Aronoff’s poetry appears in numerous journals and anthologies, including Comstock Review, Poetica, Mindprints, Sendero, and  Iodine. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee. The Nature of Music was published in 2005, Cornsilk in 2006, Her Soup Made the Moon Weep in 2007. Blessings From an Unseen World is forthcoming.


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