They named you rich port.
Now your resources dwindle—
some were extinguished long ago,
but the corn smiles still.
Pineapple crowns rain up to the sky.
Cane gives up guarapo.¹
All, beneath that earth where a giant dwells.
I name her Woman
Who Knows All Who Walk Above Her.
She coughs fire,
in battle sings her enemies to sleep
I name this sleep Plant
With Spores Released Only in the Dreamtime,
that dreamtime place
where there is no wind.
Its dim suns, maimed hands—
though flowers grow beneath them
I name these
New Children Who Heal Up the Past.
They will be related to my own.
And we will grow into the earth like rain.
n a o m i a y a l a
w a s h i n g t o n, d. c.
¹puerto pobre—a take-off on the name given to the island of Borinquen by the Spaniards, Puerto Rico (Spanish for "rich port").
²guarapo—juice extracted from sugarcane.
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