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

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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

 

1.

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.

 

2.

Two Countries

Speaking

Both

Ambos idiomas,

Bartering in

Both

Pesos and dolares

Listening to

Both

Hip Hop y rancheras

Dancing to

Both

Cumbias and Country

Saluting

Both

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.

 

3.

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

Someday

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 tonpmsa2012.com.

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