A New Mexico Year

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I wrote these free verse couplets for my students. I wanted to describe the span of a year in images common to New Mexico, and I began the year in August, the first month of the academic year.

August brings gold of summer—
Fields of corn and sunflower.

When rabbit brush blooms in September
Honey bees collect their nectar.

October brings red and orange,
Sunset on the rocks and fields of pumpkin.

November is a time to give thanks.
Sandhill cranes and geese visit river banks.

In December with the lengthening night
We honor the season with candlelight.

With January’s sudden snows
Our hands are cold and toes feel frozen.

In February, warm and cold days alternate.
Friends trade hearts on Valentine’s Day.

Windy March melts snow in the mountains.
Backyard cherry and plum trees blossom.

In April, sheep give birth to their lambs.
Snow melts. Days lengthen.

May is the time when birds build nests.
Birds sing in meadows and in forest.

In June, hummingbirds hum at feeders.
Days are warm and skies are clear.

July’s the month for thunderstorms.
Days are hot. Nights are warm.

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