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My poem in Talking Writing


Recuerdos (Souvenirs)


I remember the gentle waves and how we put our feet in the water and sang.

The sky piercing blue. Seals came out to play on the rocks.


No one else was there.

The wind sunk to a whisper. Wine warmed by sun.


We passed the bottle back and forth. We laughed that we had slipped away.

Your eyes serious like the sea.


We broke bread and dipped it in olive oil.

Somewhere we had found a cracked dish.


We spit olive pits into the sand. My hands were oily,

I smeared them on my chapped feet.


Shells washed up in the surf.

You shook your wild hair, mammal or mermaid.


We had to shield our eyes from the sun spatter of the sea.

We knew when it was time to go.


I don’t remember anything we said. Only the sweetness of ripe tomato.

You always carried salt in your bag.


We were young. No one had died yet.

The stretch marks on my belly were iridescent.


My silver necklace had six turquoise stones and one had

fallen into the sea, my offering.

© 2018  Wendy Brown-Baez

first appeared in Water~Stone Review 2018


My poem in The Wi​ld Word

Christmas Eve Walk 2019


This is the year it rained,

the year I exchanged

opening presents with grandkids

for a ticket to Santa Fe.


In years past we strolled, warmed hands

by farolitos, belting out carols

with strangers, stars strewn

across the vast New Mexican sky like glitter.


Adobe walls on Canyon Road were lined

by traditional brown bag luminarias

instead of the plastic ones with light bulbs

around the plaza.


We encountered friends,

were welcomed into private homes

for a glass of wine or cup of cider, inhaled

the scent of piñon fires.


This year the changes were jarring:

the drink carts at the entrance,

galleries decorated in electric lights,

the atmosphere festive but tarnished


and then the rain returned.

We had left the party,

taken a chance, hurried out into the

frosty night to walk in magical glow


but it began to drizzle

and by the time we reached

the last corner, we were soaking wet.

We hustled past the blinking reindeer.


Our friends were still feasting.

My coat slung over the shower rod wept.

In every selfie, blue shadows

lurked beneath our smiles.

published in Central Avenue Then & Now: A Community Poetry Experience edited by Dale Harris and Merimee Moffitt/ © 2024

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. –  attributed to Peter Beneson, founder of Amesty International


When I leave the evening meditation

the man who sleeps next to the

windows in front of the church

is unfolding his bedding.


He disappears during the day.

Where does he go?

Is he among those sleeping

on the bus, the lightrail, does he line

up for a free meal?


I am told he was

settled somewhere inside,

and he came back, more than once,

a number of times.

It’s his slab of cement.


How does he bear seeing all of us inside,

taking off our heavy coats and greeting each other,

preparing for silence?


What is mine to do:

a few dollars here, a donation there,

it seems so meager when the need

is so great.


Stepping carefully so I do not slip on

the cold frosted stairs,

I wish my candle could light up

more than my corner of darkness.

© 2024 Wendy Brown-Báez

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