Images Of Ireland

Poetry

 

The Grass Widow of the North
by Margarita Vallazza

 

In the season of the wailing wind,
when it seems as if all of the souls
of the widows of the North,
keen outside my window,
it rains little,
and the vegetation, drying, dies.

Far from this arid site,
you've gone north to seek work.
In this place, time passes slowly.

On the dawning of the day
that my long sentence began,
my skin was like brown silk
beneath your skillful hands,
we added another "brick"
to the "house" of your name.

The drapery of my hair
blocked the sight of your departure,
and it hid my tears from you.

Your messages telling me to "hold on"
arrive more frequently than any money
you say you sent me comes.
But a child's hunger will not be stilled

Who hears his cries?
Not you up there in the North!
I do!  Sitting here,
listening...to the child
and the wind in competition!

Here I am, awaiting your arrival,
waiting for renewal,
as the land waits for the rain.

All Rights Reserved
(Copyright@1996 Margarita Vallazza, El Fruto Mezclado)
You can contact Marge at
teacozygran@kc.rr.com or visit her website http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Fields/6919

 

I'm sure like me you know someone who this poem could be about. Marge's grandmother Elizabeth Irwin came from the "Orchard of Ireland" County Armagh.

Marge has written and published a book of poems, entitled, "El Fruto Mezclado", (Mixed Fruit) She does poetry readings in English and Spanish in small presentations through out the US.

Marge tells me "The Grass Widow Of The North" poem explores a universal theme of a woman being left behind with the children while her husband seeks work to send money home.   When I perform this poem in Spanish, the words are the sound effect of the wind rising and dying.  There's also a universal theme of the keening woman that comes across more effectively when it is performed aloud." 

 

 

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Copyright 1998 belongs with the original authors. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 26, 2004.