nocturnal heritage

then when they offered something
of command, the night
received them to confirm

a change of season. they were not
standing on the earth, or

they remembered that the fields of rice
would not harvest them, people
of the ashes. their directions

would not receive the ancient winds
or the doorway to the past
brought them firmly to the soil. they were often

not known
by number, and they were once
attached to the after years

of service. they did not
announce themselves

as their words
would not serve the ashes. and they once
had their memories

grown for the fields
of their pockets. no one

could speak

after they moved
on the soil
through the oceans


Copyright © 2015 by Roberto Harrison . Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“This poem, framed by ritual and its ashes, reflects upon Panamá as a spiritual state beyond geographic borders and on its infinite animate and inanimate population with roots in every imaginable dimension.”
Roberto Harrison