Postcard from Little Corn

This is the land of happy dogs
trailing wide-eyed children
down the red paved sidewalks,
past the pink and turquoise shops
with their hand-painted signs,
the coffee-colored women
leaning out
from the tortilla stands,
the girls weaving bracelets,
the tall black man selling empanadas
from a plastic bin.

And following the muddy paths
through the piña and coco groves,
they arrive at the sea,
roaring like a hungry beast,
licking the palm trees
with its foamy tongue,
devouring the sand.

Tomorrow, Melvy has told us,
will bring calmer winds,
the ocean will fold its legs
and lie down, but for now
the empty rocking chairs
are propelled by ghosts,
the dogs are huddling
under the eaves of the casitas
as the storm breaks,
drumming rat-tat-tat
on the rusty tin roofs,
making the whole island
dance to its beat.


(originally published in The Blue Hour)

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