Abuelita Esmeralda

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And thus through many seasons’ space/This little Island may survive/But Nature, though we mark her not, Will take away — may cease to give. -Floating Island, Dorothy Wordsworth
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Quilt made by Dorothy

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The rain keeps on falling and the river keeps on rising,

I can’t tell if it’s the women in the church singing,

Or the echo of this river ringing.

The corrugated steel roof makes the rain sound like the endless clip of an AK-47,

Sometimes it really is tumultuous gunfire and others just God’s desire.

The river is climbing, I swear it’s beneath me,

But it slowly fades away, the heavens on its knees.

And after this cacophonous flood, I’m sure now it’s the faithful that are singing,

Sunrise hymns in tune with the roosters and xolotas.

Even amidst these off-key voices, I hear one that rhymes true and never leaves me blue.

As the water lessens and the puddles remain,

The green of the jungle reminds me I’m sane.

After a silence comes the pat, pat, pat of each morning,

Corn ground pure by mortar and pestle,

The daily routine with which she must wrestle.

Pat, pat, pat, pat and one more tortilla,

Abuelita Esmeralda and an ave maría

-C.H.

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