Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism

l o r r a i n e   h e a l y   ~   f r e e l a n d ,   w a s h i n g t o n


Inside an empty New Mexican
morada, a lonesome saint decides
to stage its own procession. Picks
itself up and starts walking
on square wooden saintly feet.
Walks and walks, past Chaco,
up the Four Corners. Dusty
Southwestern towns see
this vision go by: one, articulated,
wooden santito walking due North now,
oblivious to the heart. It walks
past Denver, the twenty-inch saint,
the painted face becoming less blank
with time, more animated with
every passing field of grain,
the sight of small town diners.

                                               The sun
has peeled away sandals and halo,
a wicked rain washed its indigo robes;
this little bulto of saint charged with the ozone
of the thunderstorm
stands at ten new crossroads every day:

a saint on its self-directed pilgrimage,
weighing Wyoming against
the Dakotas, moving tirelessly
across this land it has not been promised,
across the landscape that makes
its tiny saint's heart skip a beat
or two. This saint on the road, unaware
of sacrosanct American traditions,
right-smack in the middle of
where place and sky sprawl


It only happens during full moon nights,
a certain madness of the orchard,
fruit breathes deep,
finds its chlorophyll harmony,
and breaks into songó
a salacious ditty of berries in season,
plain green apples back
and forth in lullabies.
When cirrus clouds opaque the moon,
the soft voices of pears hem
the watery changes
that may cancel the sky.
The brawny citrus trees
lean toward the operatic,
humble choirs of oranges,
an aria of grapefruit reaching deep
into ponds of dazzled frogs.

The stillness of air quickens.
Dawn. Time to awaken to pink
and a world where rind and pulp
are deemed mute, barely able
of color or fragrance.

But it is never over
until the watermelon sings.

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Rev'd 2004/10/21