We’ve left the crib, the family
animals, the unstable first trinity.
Forgiven the all night journeys
made in haste, the rough beds,
the secrets and baffling dreams. Since
our father left us, his words
in our ears orate a baritone
poetry, wild and strong enough
to hold the yes and the no.
Again the sun leans toward its death
and our mother grows small.
Her forehead curves under
our hands like a child’s.
In her daughters’ touch
she finds babies,
long birth, the stars and songs.
Before its end, her life blooms into myth.
She will leave behind attar of roses,
a portrait on blue fabric, her face
in the cliffs. We live and we die
but she will be assumed,
we are certain, like goddesses
everywhere. She waits. She will light
the clouds in her long passage.
Feast of Guadalupe
December 12, 2002
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.