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  • Miriam Sagan

Stockyards Cafe, Amarillo, Texas

Breakfast In the old stockyards. Walk in, I’m the only woman other than the

tough competent waitress.

Rich keeps his hat on. Smoking section—one black guy at table of white guys.

Big working guys. I can’t help but worry—Donald Trump supporters?

It helps to be old in these situations, as I now am, white haired.

In the smoking section, a guy now lights up a cigar.

Mist. Mud. An intense—hidden to-me—slice of human life.

The eggs running late because “I forgot they were poached.”

Guy held the door for me. As did scary tattooed gangbangers in Santa Rosa,

where everyone was also smoking, out on the curb of the gas station.

Maybe the world isn’t as scary as I think it is. Or this part of the world. Or as scary as it was when I was a busty foul mouthed fourteen year old in New York

City in 1968?

We’ve become such New Mexican rubes—we comment on each rain drop

that falls.


Miriam Sagan is the author of 30 published books, including the novel Black Rainbow (Sherman Asher, 2015) and Geographic: A Memoir of Time and Space (Casa de Snapdragon, 2016). She founded and heads the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College. Her blog Miriam’s Well has a thousand daily readers. She has been a writer in residence in two national parks, at Yaddo, MacDowell, Colorado Art Ranch, Andrew’s Experimental Forest, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Iceland’s Gullkistan Residency for creative people, and another dozen or so remote and unique places. Her awards include the Santa Fe Mayor’s award for Excellence in the Arts, the Poetry Gratitude Award from New Mexico Literary Arts, and A Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa.

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