Guadalupana Procession

There’s no place else
except here where I walk
over slow cobblestones
in the holy middle
of a crowd of Guadalupanos.
Following the statue with her golden rays
we step through the village streets
a single pulsing being,
onwards to the church.
It’s Mexico, 2018 but if
if I close my eyes and simply feel,
I could be walking
on the cobblestones of Crete,
4000 years ago.

There is no before or after.
This hour of moments
has banished all others.
Those lined up on the sidewalk,
neither spectate nor bystand,
but participate with sacred faces
in the act of devotion.
Boy adolescents bear her image
on tight black tees.
Little ones in parent’s arms,
or sitting on their shoulders,
absorb the fervor as they breathe.

Women among us,
having promised the Mother,
walk barefoot on the stones.*
Not a parade, not a march.
We hear the horns and drums,
We twitch when skyrocket prayers
blast into the heavens.
But as She snakes us onward,
we compose, together,
a lustrous humming;
just under the skin,
a quiet song of belonging
to Her. To Her.

©Susa Silvermarie 2018

*They are fulfilling a manda, a spanish word used here to mean a promise. They have prayed to Nuestra Señora for something, perhaps a child’s health or the safe return of a son from working in the dangerous North, and have made a manda that when it is granted, they will walk barefoot in Her procession.

Explosive Devotion

My Tattoo Guadalupe

Whistling rockets
to white puffs of prayer,
making lace in the sky for Our Lady;
gratitude and adoration rising,
shot after shot,
shocking the foreigners.
Arrowing up
from Mexican hearts
all day long, all night,
in explosive devotion:
love for Our Lady!

©Susa Silvermarie 2018


Through the Curtain of Time

The photo over a century old
shows  my face.
From the inside, I feel it,
pushing through the curtain of time.
I know my own expressions, there I am.
a look of pure delight
in the tilt of my head, the ease of my mouth,
my regal posture at the beloved piano.

I glimpse my sister too,
in this ancestor we share,
but no, it’s me,
my face in a different life,
young a hundred years ago,
a girlish queen of music
brimming with creative thrill.

I’m the one
beholding the  photo,
and I’m the one
who gazes back  through time.

©Susa Silvermarie 2018

Sticky Truth

I empty the can and lick:
its rim, my fingers, and the sticky plate.
Filled, now, with sap of maple,
I wave hello with both my branches
to the cold and lovely morning.

I declare contentment!
I adopt it, embody it,
practice its art. Contentment.
My garment. My stance.
My major. My mantra.

Contentment sings through
the flute of me. Music!
I keep on creating the notes
like a breeze playing leaves of maple.
On this morning of satisfaction,

I am soft and laughing,
little and tough.
I won’t give up
the taste of syrup
on my tongue.

©Susa Silvermarie 2018

with thanks to Simone for the Montreal Elixir