The Big Switch
Not long after he’d walked through the door he knew
it wasn’t going to work.
The room was small, most of the space occupied
by a queen-sized bed,
the dim wall-lighting unable to offset the drabness
of the maroon bed cover and maroon carpet.
The bathroom, closet and kitchenette space
beyond the headboard wall, too, was small,
which allowed little maneuvering.
Though clean, the odor of the cleaner-disinfectant
permeated the space, creating the suspicion
that what the place really needed
was a deep scrubbing and, even better,
A coating of snow, wispy and light, was gathering
on the black statue’s slippery surface,
Pedro Peralta, the founder of Santa Fe, on horseback,
his arm outstretched, is pointing to the future’s site,
his companion standing alongside,
attentive and still, both weathering it all,
by the fenced yard of Santa Fe’s Federal Place.
The solitary walker, too, was weathering it,
out for an early morning’s stroll,
but taking it all in, the contrast of the white flakes,
dropping gently against the adobe-colored walls,
beautiful in itself and bringing calm.
Bouncing off the corrugated sheet-metal surface
of the huge sculpture called Barn Dog,
one of many art works around the town,
the morning sun made its way
under his much softer cover and into his lively walk,
spurring him along,
streaks of exhilaration breaking through.
He did not expect the exhilaration to ramp up
at The Five and Dime store, right there on the plaza,
but it did,
for among the packets of green and red chili powder, New
Mexico key rings, tin angels and fresh Frito pies,
The wind on the crisp, clear Sunday morning, was like God’s breath,
moving him and his friend, Joy, from one celebration to another,
from an hour’s meditation, their hearts and minds facing east
in gratitude for that ancient wisdom,
to a larger gathering where, in one voice, they spoke their intent to
join together to celebrate the splendor of God’s love, cherishing all life, honoring all paths…
taking them in songs and readings to a place where dreams of peace
and respect for other’s views, are meant to be more than idle