BLESSED BE THE MOTHER – #ENDFAMILYSEPARATION

A poem in response to families separated at the Texas/Mexico border, separated on indigenous land, separated by walls, and separated by unjust travel bans.

**

On holy land, between a mesquite shrub
and a Mexican willow whose purple buds bow
in adoration, a mother sets out on a pilgrimage,
un peregrinaje en el camino de una santa tierra.

She carries her child on her hip
like women have always carried this world,
ganchado – between the sacred bosom of life
and the warrior thigh that crushes the serpent.

Her talones kick up dirt, a holy danza amid
a swirling, languid breeze on land
which has been stolen from her.

Chin held high, wings spread wide,
she is the resistance.

She knows what awaits her arrival
at the border el diablo anda suelto,
ready to rip the world from her hips,
but she knows where to hide the medicine,

tucked beneath her hijitas wings.

Cucurrucucú paloma
Cucurrucucú no llores

As hijitos and hijitas sit in manmade cages,
detentions they will call them, their wings carry
los antepasados like rayos de luz within.

And when the cage gets lonely, los antepasados
remind los hijitas and hijitos of the land they stand on.

And they will hear

Cucurrucucú paloma
Cucurrucucú no llores

A mother’s pilgrimage never ends.

She journeys the many separations
she’s endured since giving birth to the world.

On holy land, between a tent city in Tornillo
and the lurking eyes of government institutions,

she prays her rosary, beads she must recall by faith
since their confiscation at port of entry.

She remembers the medicine she hid in the wings
of her hijitos and hijitas. She sings to herself

Cucurrucucú paloma
Cucurrucucú no llores

Blessed be the mother who spreads her wings in resistance.
Blessed be the mother who reclaims her land.

Blessed be the mother who meets the devil nose to nose
until her hijitas and hijitos are returned to her.

On holy land, between a mesquite shrub
and a Mexican willow whose purple buds bow

in adoration, a mother sets out on a pilgrimage,
un peregrinaje en el camino de una santa tierra.

Bendita sea la madre quien espera el mundo
que regrese a sus manos otra vez.

**
Cucurrucucú Paloma is a cuauhpanco song, a Mexican folk song originally written by Tomás Méndez in 1954. Thereafter, it was made iconic by Lola Beltrán and Pedro Infante. Cuauhpanco is Nahuatl word meaning, “on top of wood,” which signified where the song was danced. After colonization, it was converted into the word huapango and is more widely used.

This poem was originally performed by me at San Antonio Mennonite Church for First Friday on the Lawn on July 6, 2018. The portion of the poem which contains the music lyrics was sung by Daisy Loren, a fourteen-year-old singer from the west side of San Antonio, Texas.

Side note: I am not fluent in Mayan languages. I am also not fluent in Arabic, therefore, those words are not found in the poem. I hope to one day incorporate that to more fully represent the injustices carried on by the American government.

God bless our mother(s).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *