Widows Tell Tales

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About the effects of the war in El Salvador on families

A street pounded bare
Foot after foot
Knees knock skirts out of the way
To chase and play

Puppy runs after the mop
With a skip and a hop
In this body
Bound
Language
And time

Women and children
(Relabeled widows and orphans)
Fly white papers
(Called flags)

Gather in front of the fat man's* house
Demand corn, beans, and laughter in the heat
The pat-pat-pat of bare feet
On the dirt street

Or of masa circles
Becoming pupusas**
Hold promises of dry heads
And filled bellies
The fat man* can never silence

The rat-a-tat-tat of bullet sprays
That widows, orphans and dead men created
Of once happy families

How do you know war was a success?
Who do you approach
With such a redress?

The soldiers
The government
The no-tale dead men

Or women and children
(Relabeled widows and orphans)
Still on the scene
Demanding laughter, corn and beans

 

*Calderon Sol, the president of El Salvador at the time
**a thick tortilla filled with meat and cheese in the middle

 

 

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