Today’s prompt for the April PAD Challenge is to write a “visitor poem.” Like yesterday’s “communication poem” prompt, this one gives general direction but no specifics. I’m sure Robert Lee Brewer will throw in more specific prompts this month, too. Each type challenges my mind differently.
For today’s post, I thought back to last August, when photographers Michael Cooper, Matt Sawyer, and I went on a three day road trip from Tulsa, OK to Santa Fe, NM and back. The road trip has yielded several poems, one which will soon be published in Crosstimbers, but I still find myself looking back through the notes I took that weekend for more inspiration. This new poem finds us on a stop in Taos, NM.
We hit Taos in early afternoon, desperate
for coffee and wifi. The winding highway
leads directly into the central business district,
lined with adobe structures that I feel
are built for us, not the locals. We choose
a café abutting two gift shops that sell
turquoise trinkets and “Native American” art
and map our route to Santa Fe, along
the high road. Only the barista is
unadorned with a camera. We load film, leaving
behind three empty mugs and a little cash.