Phillip Sterling is the author of And Then Snow (Main Street Rag, 2017) and Amateur Husbandry (Mayapple 2019). His chapbook of February poems, Short on Days, is forthcoming in early 2020 from Main Street Rag.
Dad, it is autumn here. The acequias are lined with flame yellow cottonwoods and the robin’s egg blue sky hangs over the mountain. I breathe like you taught me. It calls to me every autumn, so I hike the mountain trail as far as I can, then sit and breathe as you taught me. Birds ready themselves for winter as does the blue-tailed lizard sunning next to me. Unafraid, he watches me just before a deer tiptoes in and freezes. I move slowly back down the alluvial plain and breathe like you taught me. I follow the alluvial plain to the river and revel in the smell of roasting chile. It is autumn here. Winter will come soon enough and I breathe as you taught me.
Deborah Chappell has a BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing-Poetry. Her work has appeared in The Denver Quarterly.