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Issue #132, New Mexico/Los Alamos/Bandelier National Mounment. Wherein a trip is made in November 2006 to Northern New Mexico to partake in Thanksgiving with the parents; and visits are made to Bandelier, Tsankawi, and Acid Canyon in Los Alamos.

now he is crawling,
bruising his knees,
as his territory expands -

mapping a landscape
beyond the crib, the saucer,
the carpeted hallway

a chower,
not a porker,
orion hums and grunts
over jars of baby food
on our first trip to
New Mexico

six people plus stuff
in black rental s.u.v.

blackened tree trunks
the memory remains
cloudless november

silence in forest
dropping financial matters
crinkling dry grass

no breath of wind
to lift pine needles
from scattered repose

after re-living old memories of home
choosing an unfamiliar path
through the woods
family life disappearing into
sir arthur conan doyle deductions
and reinhold messner ascents

family dynamics
nature center
night diaper
sun room net

outside the atomic city
i walk the mesas
finding bleached and scattered bones
in nameless ravines
childlike wonder
guides me to the rim of the canyon

my powers of concentration
recently diminished
by newborn child
who, at ten months
will crawl to investigate anything

as if inside
a crystal glass bowl
the sun, a silent orb
traveling far overhead
quietly illuminating
the canyon, shifting shadows

utter silence
though fiery orb
passes far overhead

talcum powder rock
volcanic ash now compressed
battleship mesa

footprints over time
compresses ash
to scalloped pathway

walk ancient mesa
see radio telescopes of nuclear lab
peeking over juniper

guard gates, secrecy
nuclear lab reverts
to paranoia

those who came before
would not understand the change
fear and war has brought

two steps
from carpet to wood
presenting tactical challenge
to child with wobbly knees
bruised from hallway explorations -
the mystery of lights
from under closed bathroom doors,
delicious sounds
and shadows from cousins'
evening bath splashing

pre-appetizer cheerios
before the ubiquitous squash-
fruit-oatmeal feeding
arising at 2:30 because of strange sounds
in unfamiliar house
waking too early!

in warm water
assuming birth position
while mother cradles

new mexico sky
cloudless over charcoal trunk
relic of prescribed burn

insistent demands
from children under 10
thanksgiving drama

three generations
around turkey tablecloth
gobbling food

high moon
over silver branches
illuminates mesa

some fuss in seat
others stare at movie
long road trip

possibly drunk
on lonesome stretch of highway
speeding and weaving

pulling cart through ice
postal worker with headlamp
working overtime

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen