Cerillos, New Mexico
Mary sits at her bar, mediatrix of vodka—
queen of cat pee and broken cribs.
An Indian grandchild shouts at the tourists:
Look at my dinosaur gun!
She blinks at the wealthy, their cameras
and diamonds, buffed sandals.
No public restroom, she warns. The thirsty
will pay her ten bucks for a Smirnoff,
five for a lukewarm Corona. The faint
stagger out to the sunlight, to ruined
walls of blue sky. So relieved to flee
the hole of Mary’s treasure, the wheelchair
stuck in spider eggs—her blessed lump,
her white-haired holy mother.
~ Laurie Barton
Laurie Barton is a Pushcart Prize nominee, Best of the Net finalist, and winner of the New Southerner Literary Prize in Poetry. Her work has appeared in ‘Word Riot’, ‘juked’, ‘Prick of the Spindle’, and ‘Jabberwock Review’. She lives in southern California and teaches English to speakers of other languages.