Lullabies For One Absent

Lullabies For One Absent

by Juanita Garciagodoy

Duérmete, clavel,
que el caballo no quiere beber.
Duérmete, rosal,
que el caballo se pone a llorar.

Inside a thundering DC-9
a couple bends over cuba libres
arranges furniture that will
cover the earth where the blue
eyes black hair
patting feet flower-tendering
fingers of a wee small proto
girl are whirling

Quién dirá, mi niño,
lo que tiene el agua,
con su larga cola
por su verde sala?

When they land
hot miles away
grading every motion of the pilot
they will strip each other cheering
(as each garment slits the air)
not to hear the weeping on the wind

Duérmete, clavel

The poet

saw the photos of the wedding

Too old for parties and a little misanthropic
she waits outside and paints

the mighty mirror of the river
on the fainted bridal flowers

Bajaban al río,
Ay, cómo bajaban!
La sangre corría
más fuerte que el agua

Not-she tossed out
the photos of a previous feast

Not-she framed portraits of tame beauty
on the black screen of the beast

Duérmete, clavel,
que el caballo no quiere beber.
Duérmete, rosal,
que el caballo se pone a llorar.

[Note: The quoted lullaby is from “Bodas de sangre” (Blood wedding) by Federico García Lorca, Act I, scene ii. (My translation)]

Go to sleep, carnation,
the horse refuses to drink.
Go to sleep, my rosebush,
the horse is beginning to weep.

Who can say, my baby,

what troubles the water,
with its long, long tail,
in its green, green parlor?

Down to the river,
oh how they descended!
Blood was flowing
more strongly than water.

– refers to the line, “I can’t sleep” in “Watching Arturo Sandoval on PBS at 2. AM” by Jonathan K. Rice

  1. Nice use of language. Love the rhythm & images here.

  2. Thanks for stopping by to comment, Jonathan!

  3. It’s really evocative.

  4. i will ditto what Jonathan and Dan said-

  5. LOVELY!

  6. Thank you, Susans and Dan 🙂

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