A Close Encounter in the Manzanos

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A View of the Manzanos through cholla cactus. Photo by Richard F. Fleck.

A View of the Manzanos through cholla cactus. Photo by Richard F. Fleck.

The sky remains cobalt blue

and the pines barely whisper

as I amble along the crest

of the Manzanos overlooking

Albuquerque’s tiny city streets,

but I suddenly stop in my tracks

when I almost stumble across

a crude grave of cottonwood

branches twisted into a circle

Spanish Bayonet. Photo by Richard F. Fleck.

Spanish Bayonet. Photo by Richard F. Fleck.

with Spanish Bayonets poking

through — just one step more

would have placed me atop

a local witch’s burial site with

slithering, hissing rattlesnakes.