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Big Corn In His Milpa
A jaguar crept along the heavy limbs
Of trees and silent sauntered through the dim
Nets cast by tangled leaves alive with spiders
Grown fat upon the myriad swarming creatures.
The emerald cat eyes flickered phosphorescent
Death as monkeys chattered on indifferent.
A Mayan Indian squatted in the black
And muddy field adjoining his thatched shack.
He startled at the flashing eyes within
The jungle, then he called to his four children,
"I saw the jaguar in the jungle hunting.
No doubt the henchmen of our lords are coming,
Especially since this day's an evil omen."
He sighed, "Have mercy on us, father sun."
The peasant, Big Corn, stood up in his milpa
And wiped his heavy forehead, brown as mocha,
To brush away a thick and glossy mane
Of dripping hair. He grumbled from the pain
Of a stomach round with parasites
And sleepless worry through the humid nights.
Lost in a daydream, Big Corn murmured softly
As dragonflies swam in the stale humidity.
"I hope that I shall be a butterfly
When I shall live again when I shall die,
High up there in the tallest of the trees
Where all I have to fear are curious monkeys
Who'll try to touch my flowing shinny colors.
Then none will take the pollen that I gather
From orchids and the rows of morning glories
Each day I work my fields upon the breeze.
The budding vines will be my only home
Where all my caterpillars safely roam
Away from ants, with thick green leaves to eat
And shelter them from hard rains pounding sheets."
He took his stick and prayed to mother earth
To give the seeds he planted strong rebirth
While in the jungle monkeys cried with terror
And warning at the first scent of the jaguar.
-© Copyright Santiago del Dardano Turann
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