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Wednesday, November 23, 2011


by Laura Rodley

On our way back home,
from the train window we watch
the dried grass, mesquite, and pinon,
terra cotta adobe homes high
in the Sandia Mountains.
In the San Felipe Pueblo,
a pink hog gutted lies
on its side, its squat people
surrounding it eye the passing train,
the round prickly pears stubby and burned
black by the sun, arroyos dry
footprints fleshed out in its red sand
dirtbike tracks fresh.
As we speak your name
a gathering of cranes flash
before the window, stalking green fields
irrigated underground, their intermittent
bending for barley, final harvest,
cranes such as you had seen
driving back roads in Artesia
flush with dried out sparse green leaves
and the hard green fists of pecans in orchards
waiting for our train to come in,
cranes tall as grey emus gliding, you said
and here the cranes,
the only time we see them,
as we lift your name to the wind.

Laura Rodley’s chapbook Your Left Front Wheel is Coming Loose has been nominated for a PEN New England L.L. Winship Award and a Mass Book Award.