Mother's Day

Mother's Day

Yesterday I bought a souvenir to send to you,
a woven-grass hummingbird. But the bottom
fell out of my shopping bag, and I lost it
on the streets of Oaxaca. When I went back to buy
another, the shopkeeper said it had been the only one.

I remember the story of the Virgin de Guadalupe.
I think about how much you wanted to be
an archaeologist but were told girls
could become nurses or teachers. I wish
you weren’t ashamed of the poems I wrote about you.

In the museo at Santo Domingo Church,
fat raindrops find the open cloister.
They trickle dust between the cobbles, cool
the hot stones. When the cloud raises
its arms and opens its mouth: Praise.

You are here, like you are everywhere in my
story, mother of my story. I would buy you
a hundred more gifts—tapestries, silver charms,
and carved barro negro—but it is not the same.
The hummingbird is lost. I wanted for you

something like a blessing. This same rain
has bathed the cobbles of Santo Domingo
for five hundred years. It soothes now, forgiving.

Kristan LaVietes

Photo: James Wainscoat on Unsplash

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