Old Pickup Trucks on Taos Streets and Sky

Even on a short visit to Taos, New Mexico,
you'll notice star wheels blazing the night sky,
and old trucks, among grazing horses in the fields,
trucks, parked beside tan adobe houses, chugging
down the narrow streets, like the red GMC
 over on Santisteven Street, this guy's a real chick
magnet, shiny chrome grill, fenders clean and
slicked back, probably whistles at every skirt he sees.

Down on Valverde, that dark green, bull-nosed
Dodge Powerwagon, big nobby traction tires,
surely takes a break every afternoon, swings the
saloon doors open and stomps up to the bar
to slug back two shots of raw whisky.

That poor derelict Studebaker sunk in creek mud,
sun-fire eating the rust off the roof, moonlight
bleaching the fender tops, wheels missing, but
doors sprung open, seat springs awaiting
this afternoon's breathless high school lovers.

Bodacious -- that patent leather shiny black
Ford, toothpick between its teeth, wants to buy
you a drink or two, swirl you across the dance
floor, tip his hat, open the door for a midnight ride
up to the mesa to count the shooting stars. Yeah!

My favorite though parks by the Arroyo Seco antique shop
that blotchy green '50 Chevy with merit badges
of dented fenders, rusty tin side-boards once used to
break the wind for head-high horses,
hauling hay, kids to the picnic, firewood.
Ego secure, he'll probably never replace
the missing headlight rings, never paint over Detroit's
red primer shimmering up through the fading green. One thing
for sure though, he'll haul home your groceries and refuse a tip.

Makes you want to think about laying down a blanket
in the truck bed then holding hands to count
shooting stars, and streaking truck lights, across the Taos sky.

--James Ciletti, 2006