Sharon Niederman writes, "The Muse wears many disguises. For years I have seen the same street person walking up and down Central Ave.; in winter, she wraps herself in a tattered blanket, and in summer her face is deeply sunburnt. I try to give her money every chance I get, but sometimes traffic makes that impossible. I no longer recall her name, but I believe we all know her." Indeed we do.
One of the region’s most prolific freelance writers, Niederman’s work frequently appears in Sunset Magazine, New Mexico Magazine, the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Albuquerque Journal and many other publications. She is the author and editor of several books on Southwest culture, two of which have won the Border Regional Library Southwest Book Award for “contribution to the history and culture of the Southwest." She was the co-editor (with Miriam Sagan) of New Mexico Poetry Renaissance, a 1994 anthology of 41 New Mexico poets.
Remember when the sight of a fallen sparrow
Broke your heart? You vowed to tell its story
As if storytelling would save the broken lost
Remember when you marched down Fifth Avenue
Swore to end the war, so many wars ago?
Remember when you came to town, fell in love with
Desert sunlight, Indian drums, the discovery itself
Placed a pawned turquoise ring on your finger
Promised you'd never leave and you haven't
But today you left the museum
Walked downtown Central Avenue
Met the toothless beggar in torn black lace
Offered her your last dollar bill
"What for?" she asked,
Then looked you in the eye
For the first time.
Poetry submissions are welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.