by Lenora Rain-Lee Good
Highway 550 runs through Cuba, New Mexico.
Best fry bread outside Canyon de Chelly.
Drive north toward Bloomfield, turn left before Nageezi,
go to Chaco—stone pueblos built by Anasazi
without insulation, wallboard or forced air heat.
Abandoned for reasons we can only guess...
a dry creek? Too many rats in the granary?
Clay pots empty of stew? Climate change?
Late spring blizzard robs me of comfort,
steals my warmth. I long for the welcoming
heat of fires that once burned in the now empty
stone rooms. I long for surcease from the pain
of wind-whipped snow. I yearn for the perfume
of stews that haven't been cooked here in generations.
I listen to the wind and hear happy shrieks
of children who played in these homes centuries ago;
I listen to the wind and hear raucous calls of
bright-plumed birds—ghosts on their cold, empty perches.
Sunlight does not exist, only biting,
stinging snow that slams into silent
kivas waiting to hear ancient prayers
in an ancient language
no one speaks, no one remembers.
Highway 550 still runs through Cuba.
First published: Marking the Hours a collection of poems by Lenora Rain-Lee Good, published by Cyberwit.net, November 2020