This week of Thanksgiving, I can’t help but be thankful for the many facets of my family including those who have gone on – like Mama and her sister Leona, my Aunt Nono. Here is a poem I wrote in honor of my Aunt Nono (and her daughter Edna) that one day we drove to Saguache.
Saguache Road Trip
by Nelda Curtiss (c)
urls in her white hair are
not yet brushed and styled
Blue-hazel eyes peer like a three
year old’s star gazers in a
candy shop where milk chocolate,
nuts and caramel melt in Alamosa.
lapping hands in a tizzy of
happy anticipation, a birthday
party, a ride across the Rio Grande,
“Now, where did you say we were going?”
Her daughter offers “Saguache”
“Watch, what kind of watch?” she puzzles.
“Did you watch what?”
Finally, “No mama, we’re going to Saguache. I guess she can’t say Saguache.”
Hazel eyes afire, lips in a grin, strong and confident comes “Saguache, Saguache.”
he notices Highway 17, the sage brush,
settled trailers, trees, black angus cows.
“This is quite a long ride.”
Yep, like Willie Nelson sings: we’re on the road again to Saguache.
You know while we’re here
we ought to go to Grandma’s house.”
The driver turns, asks, “Where is
grandma’s house, Aunt Leona?”
“Well, it’s in Mercedes, . . .”
huffling velcro-ed tennis shoes
across the main street plank
into the arms of century old
wooden floors, and an 18 year
old blind and deaf silver poodle.
“Oh she’s lovely!”
I was born in 1921” she gleefully
exchanges her information for
the make and model of the linotype
a family’s sole push geared for
delivering want ads, hay for
sale, apartments for rent and gala invites.
A Grummond, black letter mould maker
clunks and hums for a son raised in the 1888
built store front with windows inside out while giggling Leona dotes on Sassy, the disheveled poodle quite “precious.”
urls in her white hair
mussed by the whipping wind
Blue-hazel eyes demanding
her mama’s attention, now Edna.
The little girl, white hair, wrinkles times 80,
swallows her cries: “I don’t know where my mama is; they say she is dead;
I just have to get back to Mercedes!”