By Maria Weber
I have a fondness for fire,
For stew pots with fragrant ingredients,
Comfort food that wraps a blanket
Around my heart in cold weather.
My ancestors came from high frozen mountains
With high frozen hearts that needed to thaw.
On a beach under the heat of a dead volcano
I find my own Mediterranean.
I drive west with my husband past the place
Where we spun on glare ice one February.
Woodsmoke inside the car snaps my head around.
We look at each other. Where’s the fire?
We eat a pinto bean pot every Saturday night
Pressure-cooked at eighty-two hundred feet.
New Mexican red chili rojo kills worms,
Warms our bellies. We open the windows wide.
We pack our beans and sleeping bags.
The old air mattress went flat last Mother’s Day.
Our new self-inflating Cabela’s bed holds tight.
How long until the cat flattens our fun again?
A tiny campfire strikes memory’s gong.
Lord, I’m five hundred miles away from home
Sang Peter, Paul and Mary. I long for home within,
Connected to my grandmothers but forged with stronger iron.
In the rearview mirror, a plume of smoke –
A rancher burns his slash pile. I see my father
Light his mountain of dead leaves. Flames leap fifteen feet.
He has the garden hose ready just in case.
By Maria Weber- 2006 – www.pinonvalleypress.com
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