|Between Taos and Embudo, NM by Beth Surdut|
My heart opens with joy every time I drive the mountainous road between Taos and Embudo. The rift gorge is still aflame with golden cottonwoods leaning over the Rio Grande, and I wonder how to paint the emotions of this day.
Glory fades as the road eventually widens and flattens into the traffic lanes and ratty median strips of Espanola where a dead dog lies bloated in the sun. Some kind of cattle dog, the spotted fur still visible—Australian or maybe Blue Heeler. The truck in the lane next to me passes, the silver trailer hitch glinting and wobbling so much that I consider honking to tell the two guys in the truck cab that something is wrong, but this being Espanola, I better be damn sure, so I speed up for a closer look.
It’s an aluminum scrotum sack...about the size of a bull’s, complete with bulging balls and little indentation marks like rippled skin, just swinging low to the rhythm of the road.
My potential Good Samaritan act foiled, I returned to wondering how best to describe the sound of wind moving through the cottonwood leaves like dry rain, or how to paint the flash of pinon jays lofting in blue notes of surprise.