by Clifton Snider

The high desert sky
nearly cloudless
the day before the clocks fall back,
sun bright as an atomic flash,
cottonwoods, aspens, maple, willows–
leaves falling like they never do
back home in Southern California,
a day to walk on roads
whose dust rises with every pickup
& Prius that passes,
& as you watch a northern flicker
with red mustache
perch on a slender stump
two dogs cross the field
and the creek bed
and join you on the road–
you shoo them off
& happily they scamper away
& you walk down a quiet residential street,
one house a junk yard of old cars & trucks
stuffed with all shapes of rusted metal & tubes,
further up a majestic modern adobe,
unoccupied for the season,
kids jump on a trampoline in another yard
while grandma and grandpa sit in the shade–
then back to your casita & for once
you leave the door open.

–6 November 2010, Taos New Mexico

“Indian Summer in New Mexico” is found in Clifton Snider’s collection Moonman: New and Selected Poems (World Parade Books, 2012), available at The poem, along with other poetry by Clifton Snider, will appear in the Silver Birch Press SUMMER ANTHOLOGY, a collection of poetry and prose from authors around the world — available June 1, 2013.