La Luna del Rio

At La Luna del Rio

the river rushes past

the wooden balconies

like a frothy sea,

swirling in eddies around

the bobbing canoes

as if it were going to engulf

the entire town,

to sweep away the pilings

and flood the cacao trees,

to carry off the young boys

dressed for las posadas

like the three wise men,

the small girls holding

the baby Jesus in their arms,

leaving only the herons

waiting patiently

in the tall grass,

the buzzards in the trees,

to inherit the earth.

At precisely five a.m.

exploding cherry bombs

announce la misa campesina

and a parade of red umbrellas

navigates the puddles,

heading toward the church.

To pray for what?

An end to the blight

that is spoiling the crops.

Orlando’s recovery from snakebite.

That the new calf is healthy

and the children live to be wise.


Our faith , says the priest,

is like the waters of

el lago de Managua

that nourish the great sharks.

So let the rains continue,

let the rivers roll.


(Originally published in Phree Write Magazine)

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