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Iris Heterochromia

November 22, 2009 by · No comments

Robert Baker

Photo: John-Morgan

(one brown eye one blue)

Sheer curtains blow shroud-white,
with a warning wave of hiss,
into the tiny room.

The window is thrown open
to the pre-dawn wind off the Sierras
and the wolves are howling
a hungry celebration of reunion.

I am awake
but very physically tired
from crossing the mountains on foot
to arrive at the sea
and my childhood home.

I eat from a small bag
of dried and pounded meats.
I am ravenous.

Outside the window
my father,
a quiet patient man,
is arguing viciously with Francisco Ibarra.
Ibarra shakes a land deed
from Barcelona in my father’s face.

Father tells him
that he does not give a damn for Barcelona
and the Spanish are no longer welcome
on this sacred land.

On a long black grand piano,
on top of two large leather books,
one blue, one brown,
stands a large hourglass running,
with only a few grains remaining
in the upper chamber.

My father Poncho,
they always call him Poncho,
but his name is Alallito,
he has seized Ibarra
and ripped out his beating heart.
He holds it in his left hand.

He draws a long knife
and cuts open the heart.
Gazing at him with warm brown eyes,
my father paints a crucifix
of blood on the forehead of Francisco Ibarra.
He tells him the Sun-god will bless his bones.

My mother is playing
a Fugue on the piano,
swaying and chanting a melodious antiphony,
“Death to the Conquistadores.
I renounce you. Death to Spain.”
She stares out of the window
with wide intense eyes, Mediterranean blue,
fierce like Joan of Arc.

A seven branch candelabra
on the piano flickers light on the wolf cub
she is nursing at her breast.
Looking over her arm the cub
sniffs the mountain air
and recognizes me as a familiar,
one eye blue, one brown.

My father feeds the heart
in small pieces
to the many wolves circling his feet.
They run faster and faster
until my father is a vapor
and the wolves are running with me
high into the mountains.

I carry the hourglass,
shaking it desperately.
At the snow line the glass becomes a heart,
cut with a wide gash mouth.
It speaks to me with mist breath saying,
“Don’t worry Niño, I will never leave you,
I will never leave you.”

Categories: Frontpage · poetry



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