Now in hurricane season.....
With hurricanes it's not the wind or the noise or the water. - Victor Hernández Cruz
We, abuela and I, watch the back porch and we know.
We know when the empty hammock dances.
We know when the tempo of cyclonic beats
join the crescendo of percussion - pla-pla-pla.
We know when the whispers come haunting
and the moisture on our skin hints of Yemaya.
We know when the scurry of tiny feet run,
snapping branches under the breeding of thunder and lighting.
We know when the high pitch of barrels interprets the pounding of raindrops.
But do you know us?
Do you know the grandchildren play here now?
All five of them
a blessing of skinned knees,
river drenched hair,
mango stained fingers and laughter.
Shhh, can you hear them?
Their music is a rolling pin
ironing out the growing yeast that is a tired old man.
They play among the still life of papayas and piñas,
imagining them to be their grandfather's congas.
They sing folklore's and pluck melodic strings
in tune to the island's natural rhythm.
Shhh, do you hear them?
Do you hear them as the hammock dances?
Abuela's chair now faces east
where my machete,
lays stored and exchanged for leisure naps under the sun.
Her arthritic hands
though they too have long been retired
continue to mold the dough of a family.
Still out of her rocking chair she hacks the coconuts
and like the beauty of our surroundings,
she nourishes us with fruits of the land -
coco milk, white flesh, bomba and son.
Shhh, do you hear her?
Do you hear her as the hammock dances?
Father of wind, warmth and water,
the great Huracán.
resident of the tropics
God of the ancestors
we know you, we respect you, we give way to you.
We know it is your time,
but it is also ours.
You make the hammock dance
but the grandchildren play here now,
and abuela's fingers
and my machete
and we beg you,
Abuela - Grandmother's
Yemaya - Goddess of the Ocean
Piñas - Pineapples
Son - a style of music that originated in Cuba (guitar, song & percussion)
Bomba - percussion driven musical tradition (Puerto Rico)
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