Rebecca Foust

All Dirt Is Holy

From Santa Fe I planned to drive north
through the mountains of Sangre de Cristo,
but my wheel turned itself to wind down
into a green-pinyoned valley: Chimayó.
A church. Inside, cool dark, an altar with icons
and candles, and a back room of raw earth
strewn with milagros : crutches, prosthetics,
glass eyes. Father Roca said, God alone heals,
not what’s back-hoed off-site and trucked in
by night to this room. Still, I drank the dirt tea
of desert, arroyo, sky, and high chaparral,
and what I disbelieved drew me to a well
where I knelt and dug and held in my hands
a world of white birds and linen and wounds.