Forthcoming in Santa Fe Literary Review–Poem by Joseph Delgado

war came. war went
by Joseph Delgado

war came. war went
like grandmother’s cigarette
smoke through the screen door
there she whittles bone and wood
praying for rain, praying for the snakes
to stop hissing her name from the
bunch grass or under the old chevy
that never got fixed
she whispers names long since forgotten milagros
dios santo nino san ysidro
she twists her tongue in psalms and
bends her back over the wash, sheets
sweat stained, a drop of blood
like a peach from the branch
hangs from the cloth, that
smell of camphor and gauze
that taste of piss in the air
pulling grit and sand from teeth
watching the wind waver through and over
grass, watch as the sunlight traces my
grandmother’s face, watch as she eyes the
ghosts sitting down by the acequeia, she tells me dont go mijo
dont go

4 thoughts on “Forthcoming in Santa Fe Literary Review–Poem by Joseph Delgado

  1. Joseph–this is a beautiful poem! I love that your grandmother is evoking all these images and ghosts and then at the end tells you not to go to war. I can just see her sitting there and telling you that. Gorgeous.

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