Poetry

In the Cool of a New Mexico Evening

Wendy Cohan

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Photo by Wendy Cohan.

In the cool of a New Mexico evening, the moon
is a generous half, waxing toward full. It feels like a relief
in these uncertain times — so, too, watching golden poppies
bloom in the foothills of the Organ Mountains,
passing wide fields along the Rio Grande tilled for planting —
with chiles, and blue corn, and pintos.

In seven, or ten, days, the full moon’s light will shimmer
in the still stretches of the river, and miles of cottonwoods
will unfurl their buds. Yerba mansa will spring from damp fields,
raising its deep-green leaves and white crowns to the sun.
Come summer, there will be abundant new growth,
come autumn, a bountiful harvest.

In a four-hundred-year-old city,
in a culture that predates by centuries,
the country in which I live—life transcends
governments, ill-suited leaders,
and pill-popping, hate-radio DJs.
Life goes on.

Photo by Wendy Cohan.

Cottonwoods spread green canopies over winter-parched sand.
Desert cottontails bear and raise their young, and coyotes hunt.
When the cottonwoods turn to gold, benevolent spirits of sandhill cranes will fly in to grace the valley with their dancing and warbling
as we sip on wine in the cool of a New Mexico evening, singing
while we sit eating blue corn enchiladas with pintos and green chiles.

Photo by Wendy Cohan.

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Wendy Cohan

Author of character-driven women's fiction, short stories, and essays. Her contemporary romance, The Renaissance Sisters, debuted May 23, 2023.