Origin Stories – Carol Deering

Origin Stories for May
    The Rio Grande Café  
    by Carol Deering

    the taco lady

    her ruby slippers
    hanging out one side

    of a papier-mâché taco,
    her arm bent over her eyes.

    She’s resting while the jukebox
    slides another oldie 

    and the toy train roars around 
    again. Each flash of light

    as the doors swing open, 
    she’s off in migraine-aura land. 

    The flautas, enchiladas, 
    ear-splitting chatter below

    fuel the thunder-sunset 
    ripples of her eyelids, 

    the lightning roots 
    of her crinkly hair, 

    her fainting

    in this depot, 
    a timeless


    *first published in Gyroscope Review, winter 2019

Origin Stories – The Rio Grande Café

I don’t do well with prompts. I usually have to notice (taste, smell, etc.) something to get inspired. Whenever my husband and I made a trip to Salt Lake City, we liked to eat at the Rio Grande Café, set in the historic (1910) Rio Grande train depot. Warm memories of times our son and his family joined us. Warm Mexican comfort food and cool comfort drinks. Always crowded, laughter from the kitchen, always a noisy wait for the food. I’d look up at the taco lady, lounging in her papier-maché taco, one arm flung over her eyes, red shoes dangling. I’d sympathize with her when the front doors opened and lights flashed and noises grew. Somehow I WAS the taco lady. She/I got migraine auras. But when the food was served, I’d forget her. Still, I thought she deserved a poem!


Carol L. Deering has twice received the Wyoming Arts Council Poetry Fellowship (2016, judge Rebecca Foust; 1999, judge Agha Shahid Ali). She was also awarded a writing residency at Devils Tower, and years ago in Washington State had the privilege of interviewing Richard Hugo. Her first book, Havoc & Solace: Poems from the Inland West, published by Sastrugi Press in fall 2018, can be purchased online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Book https://www.sastrugipress.com/sastrugi-press-authors/carol-l-deering/ and social media: webpage https://www.caroldeering.com/ and I’m on Facebook.

Link to my interview with Richard Hugo, 1982. It took place at Columbia Basin College.

Gyroscope Review Spring 2023 Issue Now Available

Previous Origin Stories

April 1 – Wanda Praisner

April 2 – Howard Lieberman

April 3 – L. Shapley Bassen

April 4 – Sharon Scholl

April 5 – Stellasue Lee

April 6 – Jeanne DeLarm

April 7 – Virginia Smith

April 8 – Patricia Ware

April 9 – Mary Makofske

April 10 – Ann Wallace

April 11 – Jessica Purdy

April 12 – Lakshman Bulusu

April 13 – Kim Malinowski

April 14 – Anita Pulier

April 15 – Martha Bordwell

April 16 – Anastasia Walker

April 17 – Annette Sisson

April 18 – Shaheen Dil

April 19 – Claudia Reder

April 20 – Cathy Thwing

April 21 – Sarah Snyder

April 22 – Susan Barry-Schultz

April 23 – Laurie Kuntz

April 24 – Maryann Hurtt

April 25 – Yvonne Zipter

April 26 – Jess Parker

April 27thKelly Sargent

April 28thRobbi Nester

April 29thLaurie Rosen

April 30thJames Penha

May 1stOisin Breen

May 2ndJennifer Shomburg Kanke

May 3rdKaren Paul Holmes

May 4thJudy Kronenfeld

May 5thJulie Weiss

May 6thNancy Botkin

May 7thJonathan Yungkans

May 8thGloria Parker

May 9thAlfred Fournier

May 10thGloria Heffernan

Previous NPM celebrations from Gyroscope Review

Let the Poet Speak! 2022

Promopalooza 2021

Poet of the Day 2020

Poets Read 2019

National Poetry Month Interview Series 2018

Book Links Party 2017

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About National Poetry Month

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