I never knew them all, just hummed and thrummed my fingers with the radio, driving five hundred miles to Austin. Her arms held all the songs I needed. Our boots kept time with fiddles and the charming sobs of blondes, the whine of steel guitars sliding us down in deer-hide chairs when jukebox music was over.
In 2015, Carmen Tafolla was appointed state poet laureate of Texas. The author of over twenty books, Tafolla was chosen in 2012 as the first poet laureate for the city of San Antonio. She has received a number of awards, notably the prestigious Americas Award, presented to her at the Library of Congress in 2010. Tafolla will be succeeded by Laurie Ann Guerrero in 2016.
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Big Bend has been here, been here. Shouldn’t it have a say?
Call the mountains a wall if you must, (the river has never been a wall),
leavened air soaking equally into all, could this be the home
we ache for? Silent light bathing cliff faces, dunes altering
Sunday takes us to the relic-boxes of small Texas towns, their shops of Sears and Roebuck sewing machine stands, bordello bedframes, and scrap-metal lawn art: a butterfly stakes a Spartan garden with pollen rust. Learning the hard way not to touch even the brass panel of a swinging