Ojo Caliente ~ New Mexico ~ by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

Bared Bosque
by Paulette Demers Turco

This cottonwood oasis can’t evade
Ojo Caliente’s winter chill.
Barely weeks ago, the branches bade
their scarlet canopy adiós until
the days extend again, the weather warms,
new growth begins, and heart-shaped leaves expand
to shelter lovers’ solitude–life’s storms,
far from their minds, as nearby desert sand.

The altitude allows the bark, brush, ground,
and wooden bench beside the umber bank
to gather falling snow. One gurgling sound
is heard: the geo-thermal springs that rank
as best, their healing minerals totaling four.
Now hear a northern flicker’s whistled encore.


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