Thursday, June 10, 2010

Villalba

 A poem about my childhood memories of the little town my folx are from in Puerto Rico:

...for Christine...

 

Villalba


A shallow, little thing—
the river behind abuelita’s
house, barely deep
enough to wade in,
to slam our clothes
clean against rocks

Except when the hurricanes
came, we would have to
gather the chicken & geese
and stow them in the basement
praying that the great brown surge
carrying cows & cars with
equal ease would not
devour our fowl anyway

"¿How far does it go?"
I asked mi hermano—
"Don’t know, but I hear
that upstream
the catfish get so big
you can wrestle them
out of the water—"
and so we set out,
on a day free
of hurricanes, to find that place
where the river began

¿How far had we walked
before we realized our folly
as the current grew stronger,
a Lucha Libre wrestler shoving
us around, knocking us down
refusing us a glance under
his golden mask?
¿And the catfish?
Just as we believed, we saw
one navigating the current
more easily than we could,
its whiskers as long as it was

I pounced, thinking, perhaps
I can have at least this
one pleasure; rocks
in my hands,
nothing more.

2 comments:

charly said...

I am proud of my brother The Word Pimp. Thank you for the memories.

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