Maraña

There are nights I weep

For a foreign land,

Mountains that broke my heart.

My tongue aches to speak

A language not my own.

On those nights I can

Only listen to the sounds

Of charrango and pan pipes.

The lies my people tell

Ourselves, the world, and God

Tangle in my mind. I long

To hear fireworks in the street

Sunday morning, see a child

Solemn in his sling behind

His earnest mother in her work.

How did the Andes plant a seed

In me? How did that seed grow?

The roots entangle with my own

Until English lies heavy on

My twisted lips, my choking throat.

I sit in the dark and listen to

Songs from which I didn’t spring.

Summer shades into Fall;

I long for steady days of sun

And clouds and wind and rain,

But the wind of Summer’s end

Tangles my hair, wet with tears.

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