Voices spill from the valley,
cool and round, too early for dogs.
Women call themselves to work as
the clouds part and the earth twitches:
how darkness anticipates dawn.
Dress the church in heliconias.
Fly the flag of the mother of mothers.
Walk on the bones of the boisterous dead.
These streets are a palimpsest of desire.
Each to carve his own kingdom of
car parts and bike tires, birdcages and bread.
In everything, the mark of hands.
These children we bear, their perfect witness.
Listen how they sing for us.
(Originally published as “Mamacitas,” in Handfuls of Bone, Gaspereau Press, 2012)