poetry quarterly

10th anniversary

FLORICANTO ISSUE

Hedy Treviño

 

A POEM DEDICATED TO MY GRANDFATHER JOSÉ GARCÍA

To those that came before
to those that were confronted
by storefront windows signs
that read no Mexicans or dogs allowed  

I placed his walking stick into the ground
I waved his walking stick toward the moon 

To those that came from the other side of the
mountain 

To the ancient ones that never spoke English
that never carried a drivers license
I shutter to think how you would
be treated today in Arizona 

I remember the lanterns
The ringing of the bells
The river flutes 

In the moon light I see your face
that face of abuelito the gentle one
with the big beautiful brown hands
weathered from working the land 

He never sat in a movie theatre
he never walked on stage
he never wrote a poem
yet his very life was a poem 

The man who taught me to kneel and ask
the rivers permission before crossing  

The man who scattered cracked corn
to replenish the dens of mice and to feed the deer whose
winter supply of food we had stolen when we gathered pinon nuts 

When you take from the earth you put back an offering
When you take from the earth you put back an offering
he would say. 
Those simple seemingly insignificant deeds
The lessons learned and yet he raised me an orphan child
The child of his child whom he took to his hearth 

The people that could stop a dangerous storm cloud
with the wave of a hand
to the people that understood the call of the owl 

To the people that could cure with herbs roots and flowers 

They understood the seasonal arrival of the birds, moths, and butterflies
he understood the significance of their flight plans,
the direction from which they arrived and what it meant for the harvest 

They understood that the density of foliage upon the trees
predicted the intensity of winter storms 

They had survived the depression
they had had survived the common hangings and repatriations of Mexicans in the 1940's 

These were the people of the corn
the children of the man god that could fly 

Over there from the other side of the mountain
he would say when as a small child I would ask where we came from 

The man who knew where the buffalo herds
were slaughtered...
the man who whittled me magic flutes
from river willows 

And yet he raised me an orphan child  

 


Hedy Treviño has written poetry since the age of eight. Her first poem came as a result of being punished for speaking Spanish in school. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and she has performed her poetry at numerous cultural events. She continues to write poetry, and inspires others to use the written word as a form of self discovery and personal healing. Treviño is moderator and one of the founding members of Poets Responding to SB 1070.

 

Published in Volume 13, Number 1, Winter 2012.