Calendar of Remembered Things

from by Jill Battson

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Calendar of Remembered Things

for Joy McIntosh

Signature sweep of draped wool shawl
New Mexico autumnal shades
golden aspen and sienna earth
your ready, wide-toothed smile, undefended against strangers
rustic blush, shock of yellow
you walk over wood floors, through the kitchen and are gone

warm adobe, jazz, a lighted kiva
your suede cowboy hat for nachos in the living room of Taos
kitschy east coast Christmas village set up along your hallway shelf
you knew the origins of Rumer
orange pueblo on Christmas eve
and the scarf you gave me that I always wear
you walk away down the outside stairs, disappear behind concrete wall

all the times we spent driving through the mountains
magnificent silence of low rain clouds
winter slush on windscreen, not quite spring rain
open chasm of the Gorge, surprising and Mesozoic
pumice slash of earth’s plates
and you now sprinkled there
a smear of sage between fingers
you drive away from cinema parking lot, my gallery, the Bean

your blue Subaru, six sisters of heaven
an emerald lake of angel fire
your throaty voice, rough with tobacco
ordering buffalo mozzarella on Café Renato’s terrace
or goat cheese pizza in Peñasco with trapeze artists
we shop for precious dipping oil in Santa Fe
watch Wynton Marsalis blow trumpet
over red plush and concrete clean to Los Alamos
you walk away across the stone patio into the cool, scented house

quiet ping of toasting glasses over white linen
a SantaCafé lunch starts
our favourite Target shopping trips
your last birthday dinner at the Stakeout
we were summer warm, sated with filet mignon
back-dropped against the blazing sky
and Taos Mountain gloaming purple in the setting sun
you wave goodbye to me, a last hug on sun-burnt lawns
and you are gone.


from gratitude songs, released June 17, 2013



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Jill Battson Toronto, Ontario

Jill Battson is an interdisciplinary poet. She has written several plays as well as the libretti for two operas and produced an electro acoustic sound art project. Dark Star Requiem, for which she wrote the libretto, premiered at Toronto’s Luminato Festival in 2010 and was published in book form. Her new collection, The Ecstatic Torture of Gratitude, was recently published by Guernica Editions ... more

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