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Friday, October 27, 2017


by Andrés Castro

“We found many children in Utuado living in these conditions. No roofs, water, power, and little food.” Tweeted by Antonio Paris‏ @AntonioParis 

Who in their right mind would name a hurricane Maria?

Only the diabolical would wrap death in Mother Maria.

As Boricuas die, our Commander and Chief Drone tweets,

plays golf, calls the begging Mayor of San Juan, no Maria. 

My grandfather, Don Manolo, an Independista until the end,

cut cane as a young man, hoping to marry sweet sixteen Maria.

Titi Carmen, the Santera in the family, would take her old
grandmother and introduce her to the spirit Orichas as Maria.

In Don Pablo’s basement church, sacred African-Cuban drums
conjured my favorite Changó by the statues of Virgin Maria.

Don’t substitute your prayers for baby food, water, electricity,
give your money to crooked Priests and Pastors, Ave Maria.

We know this is a man’s world, a white man’s world, a rich
white man’s world, I am a poor Nuyorican, loving Maria.

The trees, birds, little green coquis will come back in time,
fathers and mothers with faith will name their babies Maria.

Andrés Castro is a PEN member/volunteer and is also listed in the Directory of Poets and Writers. His work has appeared in the anthologies Off the Cuffs: Poetry by and About the Police and Close to Quitting Time, as well as in print and online journals including Left Curve, Counterpunch, The Potomac, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Long Shot, Acentos, Pilgrimage, Montreal Serai, and ImageOutWrite. He also regularly posts work on his blog The Practicing Poet: Dialogue to Creativity, Poetry, and Liberation.