In the grotto at Tonaltonko1,
waist deep in her thermal waters,
I leaned against her form
on the wall of the ancient cave.
Resting my head between
her vast stone breasts,
to Tonantzin I surrendered
my weight and my heavy heart.
Her form on the wall was a poem,
and when I pressed my back against her,
it spoke its meaning within me.
Her hieroglyph in bas-relief
sent its message echoing
all along my bones.
Forgive the past.
Move forward, forward.
Great Mother Tonantzin2,
whose temple at Tepeyac
became the shrine of Guadalupe,
spoke in my bones at Tonaltonko.
There in the dark of her cave,
the Goddess of Light
bathed me, forgave me, immersed me
in epiphanies and grace–
and propelled me out to share her love.
©Susa Silvermarie 2017
1 Aztec name for area presently known as Tolantongo: canyon river and caves in Hidalgo, Mexico
2 In classical Aztec mythology and among present-day Nahuas, Tonantzin is an honorific title meaning Our Lady or Great Mother, from ‘to, nuestro; nāntli, madre; tzīntli, reverential diminuitive. She was worshipped at her temple on Tepeyac Hill, Mexico City, and much later, in 1531, reappeared there as Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (the talking eagle).