Monday, March 9, 2015

The Mantaro Valley

The Mantaro Valley
(Lee’s Return)

At long last Lee was back in South America among the many companions he had made in the past decade. He threw himself back into his old routine. And what had been so far away was all at once, seemingly so near—: bodies moving poetically here and there, as if at a cadence of bouncing syllables.  Behind him people were nudging him to pass right and left, back and forth, and his Peruvian wife clutching his hand, as to not lose him in the crowd?
       The Mantaro Valley is deep and wide, set against the pressing and towering Andes,   and Lee, he found himself standing stone-still, in the Plaza de Arms, near the old cathedral,  spoke to the overshadowing mountains, as often he had done in the past upon his return, —almost eye to eye with the sun…
       “I’m back,” he said.
       “That’s no surprise,” said the voice of the tallest mountain, inside Lee’s head, “It is not by pure chance you came back you know, it’s your home.”
       The Mountain’s voice was as if encouraged by his return, and quite friendly, because he wasn’t a big talker like most Wankas, and so when he did speak, it was a special occasion.
       Lee was panting, the thin air being up so high, always upon his return distressed him, he had to readjust to; it usually took a few days, that’s why his heart got enlarged, so the doctors proclaimed.
       “We know,” began a conversation by the oldest of the surrounding mountains, “that you and your Wanka wife, even though she likes Lima more than here, would come back.”
       “Yes,” said Lee, “mountain folk are more understanding, warmer than North Americans.”
       “I know,” said the smallest mountain of the group, “not a spark of understanding I bet!”
       Then Lee’s wife struck from her silence, “Tell them they kept you for over a week Lee, I bet they’ll understand.” And Lee did explain that they hadn’t been separated in fifteen years more than three days total, on three different occasions, making that twenty-four hours per separation.
       Said the oldest mountain, “Tell your wife, it is a misfortune even to be separated one day, save a week or more, I can’t imagine myself being gone for a second!” And Lee verbalized what the Old Mountain said.
       “See Lee,” said Delilah, “he understands!”
       “The mountains in the valley here are cleaver, they always take the side of the Wanka women.” Said Lee.
       “Yes,” said Delilah, “they would agree with that I’m sure.”

Note: this is a chapter story out of the MS “A Bitter Herb”
Copyright © March, 2015 by Dennis L. Siluk, Dr. h.c