Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A Poem: Isabella at Three by Hank Olguin

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Isabella at Three by Hank Olguin ©2020

Isabella at three…

Clings to worn-out rags around mamá’s neck

After a thousand miles crossed to find some sanctuary

Escape from rape, hunger and hopelessness


At three, her only comfort lies in worn-out rags

Or mamá’s sporadic feeble smiles and anxious eyes

The days are alien blurs of light and dark

Of senseless moves and words that come and go


At three, she only knows she doesn’t know

While mamá pleads again to save her from down there

Jumbled among the swarm of wide-eyed faces

On a strange and foreign ground that shrieks


At three, the savage claws that tear her

From the worn-out rags that hold her beating heart

Turn mamá’s face into a dot that flies away into the night

To leave her stranded in the pool of urine at her feet


At three, marooned with countless caged and cowering bodies

Pushed into a coop of tangled heartless, silver sheets

Without mamá, a sudden anguish finds and apprehends her

Incarcerates her and the throbbing pain within her chest


At three, what else to do but cry and cry and cry

For inconsolable and ceaseless, hours, days, and weeks

Alone and lost in some remote and cold oblivion

The scent of mamá’s worn-out rags replaced by tainted stench


At three, without a sense of future solace or relief

Her mind and soul plunge into a limbo without doors

Devoid of even dreams that might have been fulfilled

Devoid of mamá’s prayers for her to reap a happy, fruitful life

Hank Olguin ©2020

Olguin is the author of Who Let the Mexicans Play in the Rose Bowl?  Navigating the Racial Landscape of America (2019).  On Amazon.com

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