this is the thriving

woman with red-framed glasses
sorting through the summer squash
(green) while i select medium-sized
gold-skinned potatoes
(some rough, some smooth)
a 2-dollar cookie
(chocolate chips, sesame seeds, sunflowers, honey)
from the farmhouse cafe stand
wrapped in white paper
i’m called poet here
as if i actually am one
(the affirmation
grad school never gave me)
today is the farmers market i say
i was there early, both delighted
and balking at the concept of paying
for vegetables that i had nothing to do
with growing
sweat sheen on calves
where one was crossed over the other
in backyard plastic chair high mountain
desert sun perch
terry tempest williams’s
refuge (which i like and don’t like
but am determined to finish)
in my hands
google ‘siberian elm’ nancy raeburn’s
words in the casita #3 journal
they are all around you
4:44 pm sound:
wind whooshing through cottonwoods
(leaves and branches) that line the lane
dogs barking to the east
windchimes chiming from front porch post
a sneeze through an open window
and the high-pitch motor hum-whine
of a neighbor firming up the
advanced-air mattress bed
are you ok!? mara asks me (sounding severely concerned)
after i say how i needed to heal from grad school
which makes me double over and slap my thigh
with laughter and say yes, yes i am ok
this is the healing after the healing
this is the thriving
when she links trauma and grad school
i know i’m in the right conversation
in terms of conceptualism, she says,
i think through doing and making, not the other way around
it took years (after grad school) to be ok with/
allow myself that
where’s your first home i ask
the woman sitting next to me in the
taos community auditorium
after she tells me her second home
is in taos
northern new mexico’s
cultural trifecta
as named in the casita #3 journal
and reinforced in the documentary on the land:
pueblo indians, hispanos and anglos
(names used and claimed
by all three groups)
i listen/read/watch/learn
at the intro to the documentary
multiple speakers of various racial/ethnic backgrounds
take a moment to
honor the earth and
recognize the spirits of our ancestors –
understanding that they are never that far away
wherein the former taos police chief
names compassion as the most important thing
he learned from his father
it only takes five generations
of not speaking the language
to kill the culture says jonathan
warm day coming


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