by Margot Van Sluytman
ALBA THE SPANISH WOMAN
Alba is here, today, like always.
It is she who lights the golden sun,
Who polishes the silver stars.
Each day, focused upon her work,
The grass broom and
The Rose bud in her hand,
She moves the world. With care.
And her long black hair,
And brilliant black eyes.
She drinks the colours issuing from
The garden below. Where the magenta
Hibiscus spread. She tastes each soft
Moment of time, knowing its worth.
She cleans and dreams,
And cleans and dreams.
While the lush green avocados ripen
On the black branches below the sun,
And while the white and tender
Doves ease their way, in fluent flight,
IN THE GARDEN
I am going back to Gethsemane
It is there I wish to be reborn.
I go, taking the breeze and the sun with me.
And thirty-three stunning stars.
And the ripe hopes of a child who knows
The world for the first time.
Travelling upon the ancient roads.
Between the catacombs, hidden.
Where the faded images proclaim
The dead, awaiting resurrection.
Yesterday, I gave my will to a soft
And rapid course. I journey.
My burial will be a brilliant
Nightmare. In white.
WHERE DO YOU BELONG
A unique accolade
Wrapped its warped
And greedy evocation
Of historical seediness
Around my throat.
Begging for the response to the query:
Where is it you belong?
Which is your country?
My vigorous creed, birthed
In the hot sun-fed jungle,
Sitting only moments from
Thrilled by the dramatic
Need to speculate on
The perverse facts of
Skin colour and accent
And heritage. What’s
In a name afterall?
In the face of attempting
To feverishly fabricate
My biography, to secure my,
Fate on a map,
I chose not to respond.
Margot Van Sluytman is a poet who lives in Peterborough, Ontario. These poems are from her book Alba the Spanish Woman: Forty-two poems published by Palabras Press. Copyright © 2003. Her prose work has been short-listed for the Canadian Literary Awards.