In 1993, my husband Scott Sharot and I packed up our Toyota van and left South Florida on a grand adventure to settle in rural, central New Mexico. Hurricane Andrew the year before was a shock point. Miami had been my home for 30 plus years where I'd raised daughters Anne and Lee, met and married Scott, grew a large circle of friends, and a never-to-end love affair with the ocean – still it was time to leave, no regrets.
Many of these poems were written in our new locale of Torreon and Mountainair, N.M. during the years we owned the Hummingbird Café. Our restaurant proved to be a popular gathering spot for a highly varied crowd. There were East Coast ex-pats like us, local ranchers and townspeople, plus artists and writers from near and far. I identify myself as a community poet, valuing the fellowship of other poets, writing and performing in their good company. My roots for that began in Mountainair with the Live Poets Society reading series, the Garlic & Sunflower Festivals, and the Poets and Writers Picnic at the Shaffer Hotel, an annual event that continued for 14 years. The Sunflower Festival is still a late August happening, sponsored by the Manzano Mountain Arts Council. The Poets and Writers Picnic is now virtual, a lively online blog and Facebook presence. Like Camelot, the Hummingbird Café proved to be shiny and shortlived. In autumn of 1997, I was diagnosed with breast cancer so we closed the doors and moved to Albuquerque to be closer to my medical treatment. Again, no regrets. The Duke City has been terrific to us. I’m healthy, able to explore more art opportunities, and Scott has a bigger playground for his many talents. Life is good. I hope that comes through in these poems.