Comment on this article

Black Tordo
by Maria Elena B. Mahler

In Chile the air mourns,
bones rest in wet soil
beneath soft leaves
dyed in yellows and reds.

The Southern wind carries ashes
of burned crops and buried slaughter
we abandon in the amnesia.

On this Mapuche land, when I was nine,
my brother carried the rifle,
I, the BB gun.

My grandmother kept a wary eye
on our ferocity to hunt, to kill
as we were taught.

The hunger in us grew,
boots sunk in mud and madness—
a rustling caught my eye.

In an elm, not too far,
a black bird called
from a low hanging branch.

At the small lump of coal
framed in gold,
I took aim.

Closed one eye.
Closed the other.
Pulled the trigger.

El Tordo, my brother gasped.
My boots in vain kicked the leaves
stirring only the smell of soaked feathers.

I still kick every dying leaf,
haunted by the skin
I failed to see.

I still hide under my sheets,
bury beneath soft linens
stained in pools of red.


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]