Blood on the Rocks


  Across the valley the Sangre de Christo Mountains stretch quietly. The Blood of Christ: salvation, in the Spanish mind. For an immigrant me, they also are a refuge, wedged between the fires and smoke-filled skies of the west and the hurricanes and floods of the east. 

 The rocks beside me once flowed molten hot.  After eons their patina became a canvas for Tewa people. Their glyphs remain a mystery. What did they feel as their world wound down? They already had known drought and famine. In the end, did their eyes see demons in metal clothing, those ancestors of the enchanting Spanish accent of Santa Fe? 

 How did the Tewa face the end of their world? Did apocalypse figure in their stories?

 My friends flee fire that incinerates places I know so well. Family returns to a devastated home. Here it is peaceful before my eyes but my heart is rent as deeply as the gorge of the river that has given life to this land from a time even before humans.  It has meandered through the ages and though it will shrink and it will grow, it will not stop flowing.

 And the mountains and rocks of the mother we have treated so shamelessly? Will they remember us, as they do the Tewa who respectfully left their marks upon her? Or will they think of us as but a passing dream?

 Like the ancients, I am compelled to open my heart and inscribe my thought-images upon a canvas, but one much more fleeting than theirs.







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