Saturday, September 25, 2010

September 21st: Aldina Vazao Kennedy

Aldina Vazao Kennedy, is a fellow Sarah Lawrence graduate, a non fiction writer who devoloped an  interest in and talent for poetry. Her poem follows.

Afterlife Accounting at the Met
My people are North Atlantic but my magnet
spins South. I taste oranges, almonds, pungent
olive oils, and cheese squeezed from goats.
Egypt is Mediterranean too. Before Romans cut
roads through my home, pharaohs stored pots,
faceted rocks, and godly symbols. They traveled heavy.
At the Met, all I see means death
and how to survive. Afghani lapis lazuli chains
enclose necks, fingers, and arms--fit for Kings’ men.
When guards look away, I touch something sacred.
Who carves himself
into temples? Dendur, Tikal. Theocharis 1899. Kheper 1936.
“Dung beetles push the sun into being.”
Afraid I’ll forget, I take pictures.
In Antigua, I heard campesinos and señoras
thank the Virgin and pay

promises, and hoard prayers and humiliations suffered.
Faith alone won’t save us.

Languages are invented for accounting. Linear scripts.
Grandmother notes 66 bible pages read.
Mother contracts salvation with tear-dropped coins.
They hang scapulars from their necks.
Forty years of hard spousal service earns
how many coupon-books for Heaven?

Father doesn’t talk sense.
Plaques tangle neural pathways.

He doesn’t remember tomorrows
and stores rocks to cobble our driveway.
He records with marble and white stone.
Ellis 56. The rest he lays with asphalt and tar.

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