Upon Reading Federico García Lorca in a Spanish Children’s Bookstore
We stepped from the rainy Madrid streets
Into a magical spell
Where miniature worlds
Spilled across bookshelves.
Some universes embroidered with scarlet trees,
Others gilded with golden leaves.
There were watercolour washes
Of cadmium and cobalt
Circling beneath a collage of cutout vellum.
Dipped in dark Art Nouveau ink
Were kissing cheeks
With otherworldly urchins.
It was a bricolage
De lugares mágicos--
Not of your high tea Wonderlands and Neverlands and Narnias…
Together we read twelve
Poetic fictions fashioned
Through a surreal cerulean horse,
Tethered by conch shells,
Floating through the grainy ethereal portal,
Nuzzling the blind boy who extends a solitary candle
So that we might see
What we do not see.
From within the pages,
We hear a mother singing Lorca’s lullabies
To wide-eyed children
Mamá, bórdame en tu almohada.
de sus hijos
Into a sleep
of haunting Spanish love lyrics and magical meters.
And I wonder--
What is a child?
I see in your eyes
Down the winding tunnel
Dropping past your earthly age
To a kernel
Not yet popped
Into material form with pigments and papers
And Spanish conjugations--
A world in a seedling
Still unfolding, bordered and borderless.
Mary McCulley is a native Texan who currently teaches composition and literature courses at a small private school in the cornfields of Ohio. She is particularly fond of children's illustrated books and impressionistic art. Website.
The Ekphrastic Review
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