Friday, April 08, 2016

DONA CHUY'S FLOWER

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"It’s Friday, and writing poems isn’t easy! So let’s give ourselves a break with a simple prompt today. Poets have been writing about flowers since, oh, the dawn of time. So today, I challenge you to add your own poem to this long tradition, by finding a flower, and versifying in its honour." So goes today's prompt from NaPoWriMo. (Or GloPoWriMo, as this year apparently someone noticed that more than a few of us aren't from the States, Glo standing for Global). 

This is a rather long post, but stick with me, I do get to a poem eventually.

Today being Friday means it's dia de tianguis in La Manzanilla. Market Day, the day vendors from Melaque and Barra de Navidad and further afield fill their cars and trucks and vans with all manor of merchandise and come to our little village by the sea. 


Because tourist season is pretty much over, the size of the market decreases every week now. I went because that's the place to get fresh fruit. This is a picture of today's haul. I'm particularly happy about the raspberries given the constant reminders via social media that we should boycott Driscoll's for their unfair treatment of migrant workers. At home in British Columbia we can get raspberries year round now, thanks to that company. Ted and I prefer to wait until our perfectly wonderful BC crops come in, then buy a flat or two and freeze them. But here! They're so good!






The oranges that made the juice were cut and squeezed before me by Maria. The taste is like every good thing you've ever known about summer poured into a glass. Cost? 30 pesos for a litre, or about $2.25 Canadian.





After I got the orange juice I went over to Marta's for a pulled pork sandwich. I keep trying to find one as good when I'm back north, but nope, hers win, hands down.


But enough of this food talk! I'm to write a poem about a flower. Today, as I walked down Calle Maria Asuncion — the main street — the flower vendor had set out his wares. It is from him that I bought the basil plant mentioned in a previous post, along with the rosemary and mint plants that, true to form, I managed to kill. But today André's golf cart was parked in the middle of the road beside the flower display and Dona Chuy herself was climbing into it, having just chosen a flowering plant that her son, sitting on the back seat, was holding. I snapped the picture with my mind. Here's my poem. (Dona Chuy is pronounced "Don-ya Choo-ey")

Dona Chuy's Flower

Dona Chuy rides on a golf cart to buy a flower. 
She chooses one she will add to the evolving beauty 
of her house — a banyo! running water! 
She's lived here fifty of her eighty-six years,
or so I've heard, her chickens, cats and dogs
legend on Calle Maria Elva. 

Twice, at least, she's been challenged by nature's métier: 
the earthquake that collapsed walls;
the hurricane last year from which
her house rises stronger than ever, peeking out 
proudly from behind its black plastic curtain

Her grandson on the rumble seat sits proud,
holds the plant with its hint-of-orange, soon-to-burst flower.
Dona Chuy settles into her seat up front, 
a figurehead so regal I expect the queen's signature wave.


Dona Chuy's house, before
Dona Chuy's house, after
Dona Chuy

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1 comment:

Denise Brown said...

A heart lifting, heart warmer this fine Saturday morning.