Friday, July 3, 2009


A woman's hands clasped together


- Nancy Morejon, Cuba
(translated by Kathleen Weaver)

My mother had no patio garden
but rocky islands
floating in delicate corals
under the sun.
Her eyes mirrored no clear-edged branch
but countless garrottes.
What days, those days when she ran barefoot
over the whitewash of orphanages,
and didn't laugh
or even see the horizon.
She had no ivory-inlaid bedroom,
no drawing-room with wicker chairs,
and none of that hushed tropical stained-glass.
My mother had the handkerchief and the song
to cradle my body's deepest faith,
and hold her head high,
banished queen -
She gave us her hands, like precious stones,
before the cold remains of the enemy.

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