November 2017

Árboles (The Cottonwoods)

Poem and Photo by Sylvia Ernestina Vergara

 Sylvia Ernestina Vergara is an author, composer, choreographer and Embudo Valley farmer.



Driving along the Río Grande, 

I see a procession of cottonwood trees


A procession of many thousands of 

sun-browned nymphs caught in a trance—

Turantilla dance sweeping along the Río Grande

as if this flowing river were a spring bride

wandering with her woodland handmaids

down a winding aisle of a high desert canyon—


Árboles, arbolando—

movimiento parado—

movimiento revuelto en las raíces—

Pies destendido abajo la tierra, 

perdido en un mundo duro—a veces

suelto en ríos más abajo—

en ríos revueltos en sueños—

Escondido en la sombra de descanso

los brazos de los árboles duermen.


They are still, 

Yet the branches outline 

such sweeping movement against

the blue sky—


It’s as though pages of life

were pressed against the

horizon of my vision—

pages of a story about beautiful

trees and how they 

got to be—

How they got so gypsy-like

with wandering branches—

arching bows—

trunks tilting into the wind—


Laurels of leaves frame, 

enchant, embellish

the sylvan spirits

of the árboles along the bosque—


How did they get to be?

How did they get to be?


Sighing, they paint brush the answer in the wind.





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