Alberto Ríos

(1952 / Nogales, Arizona)

Refugio's Hair


In the old days of our family,
My grandmother was a young woman
Whose hair was as long as the river.
She lived with her sisters on the ranch
La Calera--The Land of the Lime--
And her days were happy.
But her uncle Carlos lived there too,
Carlos whose soul had the edge of a knife.
One day, to teach her to ride a horse,
He made her climb on the fastest one,
Bareback, and sit there
As he held its long face in his arms.
And then he did the unspeakable deed
For which he would always be remembered:
He called for the handsome baby Pirrín
And he placed the child in her arms.
With that picture of a Madonna on horseback
He slapped the shank of the horse's rear leg.
The horse did what a horse must,
Racing full toward the bright horizon.
But first he ran under the álamo trees
To rid his back of this unfair weight:
This woman full of tears
And this baby full of love.
When they reached the trees and went under,
Her hair, which had trailed her,
Equal in its magnificence to the tail of the horse,
That hair rose up and flew into the branches
As if it were a thousand arms,
All of them trying to save her.
The horse ran off and left her,
The baby still in her arms,
The two of them hanging from her hair.
The baby looked only at her
And did not cry, so steady was her cradle.
Her sisters came running to save them.
But the hair would not let go.
From its fear it held on and had to be cut,
All of it, from her head.
From that day on, my grandmother
Wore her hair short like a scream,
But it was long like a river in her sleep.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: horse, baby, hair, river, woman, running, family, rose, happy, child, sleep, fear, tree, women, sister, children, remember

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Refugio's Hair by Alberto Ríos )

Enter the verification code :

  • Katherine VanHenley (11/9/2006 5:24:00 PM)

    There's so much great imagery in this poem. My favorite is '...my grandmother/Wore her hair short like a scream, ' (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. because we're both globe-trotters, Mandolyn ...
  2. Interior Constraint, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  3. Silent voice, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
  4. The Gentlemen For Me, Poetic Lilly Emery
  5. The eyes of the stars is the eyes of Sta.., Raymond Sawyer
  6. Let's Live in Peace, Tirupathi Chandrupatla
  7. I Dry My Tears, Poetic Lilly Emery
  8. Valley of an autumn's night, Raluca Mitra
  9. The stars that touch a rose is the star.., Raymond Sawyer
  10. *Halloween Stroll, Alice Vedral Rivera

Poem of the Day

poet Geoffrey Chaucer

Compleyne ne koude, ne might myn herte never,
My peynes halve, ne what torment I have,
Though that I sholde in your presence ben ever,
Myn hertes lady, as wisly he me save
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  3. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  8. The Young Housewife, William Carlos Williams
  9. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  10. The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]