First Night in Taos by Carol Thompson
January 11, 2021
A mystical memory about a magical place from the pen of Poet Carol Thompson
The sun slips into the shadowed Sangre de Cristos Mountains
sending slivers of golden light
clinging to the stacked pastel layers.
From the table at the restaurant’s open window,
my eyes move across the rocky Taos horizon.
The mountain breeze across my face refreshes,
“a storm brewing,” I’d heard someone say.
White linen napkin placed across my lap,
I study the hard-backed menu,
sip the chilled chardonnay.
I thumb back through my day,
guiding the rental car through looming mountains,
missing the Santa Fe cutoff
with precious few highway turnarounds.
Roadside stands offered pinon nuts and beef jerky,
tempting baskets of ripe market fruit,
red chili pepper wreaths.
I ponder the fading floral roadside tributes,
planted along winding Taos mountain road,
the orange diamond-shaped signs
standing like dutiful sentinels at mountain’s base,
alerting travelers far below the towering peaks
to watch for falling rocks.
The Taos streets stand together against the wind
as dark clouds break apart to scatter blue.