I have known the untamed happiness of chill in early October,
biting against flesh, joy of light blue fleeces tucked up ‘round chins,
all the jubilation of purple dusk skies silhouetted with hot air balloons,
glory in turquoise and silver,
fried dough and alpaca fur,
the beatitude of shadows in the sky lighting up rainbow with the roar of fire,
delight in RVs, museums and Georgia O’Keeffe painted flowers,
burning in the day and crisp as apples at night.
And I have seen mountain homes perched on boulders full of cougars,
skies the color of gems and rocks the color of blood,
ancient and new, colliding in a rush of miraculous glee,
filling me up under a blue New Mexico sky.

Madeline Ragsdale’s poem, “Albuquerque,” is about a trip she and her family took to a balloon festival in October. Madeline is a sophomore at Lower Merion High School, and loves to write poetry and short stories. Music is very important to her; she’ll go to as many concerts in Philadelphia as she can afford, and her parents will allow.