Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Villanelle

            for father and son

Jesús José Medrano went away
no more motel rooms to clean
he asked my dad to take his place

when Dad cried and looked the other way
the mortician closed the coffin on the body
Jesús José Medrano went away

He wore his best gray suit that day
hovered slowly above the family
he asked my dad to take his place

My father marched the casket to the grave
the relatives cried in the out-loud dream
Jesús José Medrano went away

My grandfather, farmworker among grapes,
measured a man tying vines in his teens
he asked my dad to take his place

Como un hombre, he would say
my father’s tears never seen
Jesús José Medrano went away
he asked my dad to take his place

Credit


From In the Cavity of Sunsets (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2009). Copyright © 2009 by Michael Luis Medrano. Used with the permission of Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe.

Author


Michael Luis Medrano

Michael Luis Medrano is the author of Born in the Cavity of Sunsets (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2009). He lives in Fresno, California.

Date Published: 2017-09-18

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/villanelle