“Angel Fire, New Mexico, August 2020,” “Passing Down Recipes” and “Tenderness”

In Issue 46 by Christa Lubatkin

“Angel Fire, New Mexico, August 2020,” “Passing Down Recipes” and “Tenderness”

Angel Fire, New Mexico
August 2020

we landed here

a reprieve

from Arizona heat

from reminders

of a house needing

paint and spackle

and a yard drowning in sun

a reprieve

from streaming news

that won’t run off our backs

but burrows deep

like bullets fired

by malicious hands

at Monte Verde Lake

we sit watching

the afternoon sun

sparkle on the water

aware of the sudden

lift off of crackling crows

from their green perches

in the distance

a chainsaw

prepares wood for winter

we walk

on winding trails

through pristine forests

deep shade

cools our faces

and from treetops

a wind-whoosh concert

in piney-freshness

the chaos of the world

slips off our shoulders


season grows cold

we meet at the hearth tonight

me with Chardonnay

you a bottle of stout

your arms are crossed

your eyes cast down

in the cinders of longing

the taste of your lips denied

love and loss

in tenderness entwine

stoic stone

no golden moon tonight

Passing down Recipes

I don’t remember my mother

like you remember yours, with a wooden

spoon caked with dough on its way

to becoming banana bread.

My mother owned no apron, wore mannish

pants. Deep pockets to carry a Swiss

army knife, a scout’s kerchief to keep

the sun off her neck on summer hikes.

She wore no pleasing girly smile. Her

eyes trained on distant lands, on high

and higher peaks. Her boots held dust

and dirt from trail to trail.

She didn’t pass down recipes,

hand-written on ruled paper,

shook salt and pepper, unmeasured,

into stews and soups.

Her specialty was foraging for chanterelles

to make a Wild Mushroom Tartine,

a dish she first tasted tramping

the wild Pyrenees.

Up and down mountains I followed

in her footsteps as far as my legs

could carry me. Each year a little further,

until one day she lagged behind.

I hiked on while she began to dissent

looking over her shoulder,

a satisfied smile beaming back at me.

About the Author

Christa Lubatkin

Though she has not had her fill of mountain trails, of late, Christa has settled for lesser walks. She finds her time caring for her husband a difficult and satisfying part of her life now. Her most satisfying work has been as a hiking guide through wonderful landscapes both here and abroad. Her poetry has appeared in the beautiful pages of The Write Launch as well as Haunted Waters Press, Cathexis Northwest, Beyond Words and a Willowdown Books anthology and others.

Read more work by Christa Lubatkin .

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