“Amapolasong” is by Jacinto Jesús Cardona from his poetry book, Pan Dulce, published by Chili Verde Press. He teaches English at Incarnate Word High School.
You don’t remember me, but I first felt your pink presence
when I was a child deep in the hub of South Texas.
Mother took my brother Raúl and me and my cousin Corina
for an Easter Sunday en el campo.
No fancy city park for us, nomás los mesquites y los huisaches,
el solecito dancing off the colorful cellophane wrappings
on our Easter baskets, y mi prima llena de risa en la primavera.
your pink presence blooms in places
that seldom receive attention,
abandoned houses, vacant lots, cracked sidewalks,
and you love to bloom by telephone poles.
But what I remember best are your seeds
memorizing the same skimpy spot
in front of my hometown house.
Say it slowly, a-ma-po-las,
savor the penultimate sílaba: po,
a puff of primavera breath.
Amapolas, I always wanted to write
amapolas solas en el sol, amapolas alegres,
amapolas growing por la Calle Zarzamora.
Amapolas de mis abriles, I used to be a Tex Mex juvenile
pursuing the four lobe power of the pink primrose path
deep in Aztlantejas USA.
Gracias, mil gracias for the plethora of pink amapolas.
Amapolas, recuerdo La Villita y la raza cósmica
dancing polkas, spinning into oblivion the alkaline kiss
of dusty-deep anxieties, our dancing shoes
criss-crossing the cosmic spaces of Westside dance halls,
puros corazones como las amapolas solas,
gozando, gozando, bailando, bailando.
blow your pink pagan breath upon my grave like a midnight kiss
upon that old mystic mesquite, and may my bones rest in peace
like whispered kisses of past amapolasongs
— Jacinto Jesús Cardona
To see a calendar of National Poetry Month events in San Antonio, go tonpmsa2012.com.
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