the queen of santa fe

my memories are slippery and sharp
and coloured by the heat of her
adventurous and sweet

three months ago i met the queen of santa fe
her hair as red and long as twenty seven years

she caught my english words

her throne and duty may have been this city in the dust
but she’d never left her isis home
a council youth a river bank

a teacher with the petulance to force a lifetime long–haired girl
to cut her pride to mark the drought of ’76

she heard my english words

and spoke exuberant
compleat of drink and desert glow
she spread her history

she kept my english words

and dreamt her night in oxfordshire
as snow touched down on foreign lands
where she will ride forever