Weekend Report

kiva mantel, Taos, NM

Mexican copper, grandmother’s clock, a silkscreen by my sister

It was one of those quiet, bright afternoons with a cool breeze hissing lightly in the piñons, the kind that make you slow your pace to listen to the gravel crunching underneath your soles, the ones where you’re completely there. We’d just been to a movie, the first one in fifty years, I joked. A two o’clock matinee. “I loved the movie,” she said, “and then we came home…”

I walked twice to the mailbox to check for her New Yorker, which wasn’t there. Slowly, slowly each step, no cars on the dirt road, no one walking but myself, no dogs. Mountains all around, a raven on a pole. The warm sun on my legs.

The hollow scratching of the latch, a squeaky mailbox door. Nothing but a catalog for her and one for my dead mother, plus a thousand dollar check, the one her college friend with stage four cancer sent from Iowa so she could fly to see her. “Don’t think twice,” she’d emailed, “it’s like a pair of shoes to me.”

Dinner was corn on the cob from Taos Pueblo and hot dogs from Le Mars. We’d driven through Le Mars a few years ago on our way home from Dubuque. On that trip we crossed the wide Missouri at Sioux City to spend the night in an old hotel in O’Neill, NE that had pinball machines just off the lobby in an old saloon. (Our room smelled like extra quilts in grandma’s house.) On our way south the next day, there were turkeys by the road in every field. We’d never seen so many of the great wild birds. One climbed a pile of gravel to escape us. Turkeys can do anything, I thought.

It’s cold at night now, down to forty. Sunny days, finally, post-monsoon. Here and there the yellow leaves.

John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

  • Fw September 10, 2016, 11:49 PM

    Lovely visions, John…just as I remember Taos and New Mexico on my visit…New Mexico was one of the few places I really felt comfortable and at home from Albuquerque to Chama…stay warm, John…it’s a come’n…
    Cheers, Fred

  • JHF September 11, 2016, 1:16 AM

    I’m hoping we’ll be in a new house before the lockdown. And thanks for the good words!

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