Monday's NPM poem, Border Tryptich by Norma E. Cantu




Norma E. Cantu serves as a Professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and is the author of the award-winning Canicula: Snapshots of Girlhood en La Frontera.

A co-founder of CantoMundo, a national organization for Latina/o poets, she is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop.




Border Tryptich



Sangre en el desierto


The strange fruit of the desert

Lies rotting in the sands of time

A shoe, a scarf, a thimble full of faith

Remains. The only trail worth dying for

Forgotten. From el Salvador,

to México

to Texas

the dream deferred lies still

los restos finally at rest.



Two Countries



Ambos idiomas,

Bartering in


Pesos and dolares

Listening to


Hip Hop y rancheras

Dancing to


Cumbias and Country



ambas banderas--

The red white and blue y la verde blanco y colorado


We are indios y europeos

We are güeros y prietos

We are Fronterizos, Mestizos

We are.



In the Valley, the river runs dry,

In this Coahuiltecan dessert

The earth cries out.

With consuming fire,

The zopilotes gather

Round the carcass of road kill, of cattle.

A turtle slow as children's time

Crosses the road.

Will she make it?

Some say the waters will rise


The border will be no more;

The river will be no more.


Global warming will bring waters

Flowing to the parched earth.

Governments will fade

Like ancient colonial imperial powers:

The Empire, a future footnote in a history

Still being made.


Norma E. Cantu

To see a calendar of National Poetry Month events in San Antonio, go

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