Sitting Still for Beauty


When I come into town, with my lists
and good outfits, with my parcels to mail
with my radio on KSFR. When I come into town
with its large art market, with its seven natural
food stores, with its plaza where they say
happiness hangs out, with its wide sidewalks
with its summer coming up bandstand, with
its built-in fiestas and holidays, like a woman’s
body. With its museums free on Fridays.

Coming into town with its spring wind
with its pollen counts, piñon, mulberry, ash.
With its museums of art and artifacts
and in summer the Mountain Men come
and I always check on how Badger is doing
with his business card of leather, and the Lensic
at ten years, where I saw Woodstock in 1970
left the rainy screen for floods outside, waded
then made our way to camp at Hyde Park.

Here we are, part of the scenery, older
than we could have imagined. Place
agreed with us, wooed us, as we wooed
back. You worked for the state, I pollinated
the schools with poetry. We never know
the ripple effect of our efforts. And a woman
at an airport years ago said to somebody
with degrees of separation, “You have
Santa Fe hair.” And I do, and inhabit
my sixth decade with the Santa Fe heart.

Drive, I say to my car. Holy city awaits you.
This week the fortieth anniversary of arrival
once and for all, for better and for worse,
my other marriages to words, to man,
to place.

Joan Logghe served as the third poet laureate of Santa Fe from 2010 to 2012. Her most recent books are The Singing Bowl by University of New Mexico Press and April in Santa, a poem printed, sewn, and on sale at the Press at the Palace of the Governors ($10).