Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Land Reform Meeting, Estremedura

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Land Reform Meeting, Estremedura

Article excerpt

[after a photograph by Seymour David)

Her face looking upward as the child nurses her

face half in light

her face focusing on authority as if authority

could be a miraculous revelation

as if the figure who is speaking

could save her save her family her flock

gathered round her

as if those who work the land those whose flesh

are part land dry as a hard sack of bread

are never

entitled to a basket of provisions of cold peaches

dipped in sugar

a fortune of grapes and cabbage-heads eggs that

reflect in the eye

like a scrapbook of ribbons

simple provisions

like the light on shack boards or the ready-made

moon

but no not now

in this year there is the declaration of powers

Franco's Spain depletes into shadow burning itself

down

as carpets are rolled up after the dead

and yet in the face of the mother dawn is always

reconstructed

she the pulse of escape of what cannot be broken

she who wakes with her lantern

faint as a web in dew

she who finds the scraps in the cupboard finds the

preserved roots

in the attic wrings them like the necks of chickens

pierces the black soil

she who heats the kettle

she with her survival her washbasin of measured

order

though there are those who whisper

sit at her table drinking coffee and finger her

with scorn. …

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