Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In the Face of the Rio

Many people that the Chileans killed in Peru
During the Pacific War, they didn’t know they killed—
They stared about wildly in those far-off days
When the moon came dark; quick eyed!

There in the trees, by the River Chicama in
Trujillo, Peru, the Rio that is normally dry, in
February flows high with vying white waters:
Rains from the Sierras come like jumping rabbits
Whispering doves, darkens the grass; torrent!

The inhabitants ran from their homes and fields
Screaming, “The Chileans are coming!”  —
Civilians, tried to cross the Rio, a young girl
Was swept away from her father by a current!
Dragged like a wet ragdoll, down river…

A boy named Yonel Arroyo Sanchez saved her!
But like a snake moving slowly, the Rio
Grabbed Yonel and pulled him down and under!
Swallowed him whole, —he was a hero!
And He was but ten-years old.

Let us not forgot, such sorrows, and tales and trails,
And shadows… They belong to our culture!

#4771/ 7-21-2015

Note: Inspired by Manuel Valera, whom over a cup of tea, on a quiet Tuesday evening, of reading poetry, explained how one of the Heroes of Trujillo, came about becoming a hero.