The Road to Magdalena, New Mexico
The wind is cold, a Colorado cold,
Blowing the summer back to Mexico
From whence it came; it sat upon this land
For dreary months of heavy, lifeless heat.
But now the desert dawn is blue; the stars
Make one last show before withdrawing to
The Caves of Night beyond the timberline,
Where no man walks, for fear of ancient gods.
This desert dawn is blue with promises;
The road to Magdalena creeps beneath
The ridges where the Watchers of the night
Seem now content to still their thunderstorms,
And grant a grateful pilgrim sunlit hours.
There will be coffee in Magdalena,
And not much else. The cattle drives have ceased,
And the railroad is gone; the school is closed,
As are the saloons, but there should be coffee.
During the Great Depression my father served with the Civilian Conservation Corps in Horse Springs, New Mexico, and helped build the Magdalena Driveway, a fenced cattle trail to the railhead at Magdalena.
Magdalena is much smaller now, but is such a good place for seeing a bit of New Mexico that has not yet been prettified. As late as 1970 Horse Springs had a post office, but now there is not even a road sign to mark it.