Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Lake County News,California – American Life in Poetry: Moving to Santa Fe

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.
There is a certain delight in the rhythm and play of “Moving to Santa Fe” by Mary Morris, in which she plays the farewell song to someone moving from an old home to a new one.

In the case of Morris, she leaves a parental home in one part of the country to start a new adventure in another part of the country and trades red earth, peaches and armadillos for mud houses and table mountains.

If this happy poem haunts us, it is because the images it conjures up add a touch of danger to the adventure.

Move to Santa Fe
By Mary Morris

I packed my boxes, defeated the tornado.
My brother followed in his truck
with my bed and photo books.

Goodbye, father and mother, seven
Brothers who fed us wild animals.
Farewell to the strangled stone house

with red dirt, rose rocks,
green hills and scorched grass.
I will miss you armadillos

and hairy hands of tarantulas
Cross the street in the dark.
Farewell friends. I am not far.

Visit me in my mud house
in the shadow of the mesa.
Bring me peaches.

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, the publisher of the Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem Copyright © 2020 by Mary Morris, “Moving to Santa Fe” from Dear October (Texas Review Press, 2020.) Poem reprinted with permission from the author and editor. Introduction Copyright © 2021 by The Poetry Foundation. The author of the introduction, Kwame Dawes, is the George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei is the editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

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