I come from the country, an
estancia so far from the city that
only the men go on horseback,
driving the cattle to market. When they return,
we’ll set up the barbeque on the patio.
The old men will play their guitars,
and the women will dance. Ah, I remember last time.
I could feel Renaldo’s eyes on me
as I placed a vase of yellow flowers on my head,
fanned my skirts back and forth, and
placed my feet just so.
Singing, I danced faster and faster,
my hips moving,
the flowers steady and true.
I come from San Telmo, a barrio in Buenos Aires.
I sit on my third floor verandah each morning,
hidden from the crowds below. I sip hot coffee.
The sugar from my sweet rolls sticks to my fingers.
Parrots nest high in the nearby palm trees, and
red flowers bloom in a Ceibo; later,
I’ll twine them in my hair when I dance the tango.
Ah, Renaldo, I long for when you come to the city.
I will put my black dress on and dance with you
cheek to cheek.
The startling scarlet flowers of the Ceibo, also called seíbo or bucaré, are Argentina’s national flower, as the tango is Argentina’s national dance. We’re only in Buenos Aires one more week and then back on the road (without internet for 10 days). Already, I’m thinking of April and napowrimo, the challenge of writing a poem every day for a month. Will you do it?