These thin, ragged roads,
pocked, torturously scraped ‘cross
mountains, deep valley
our plunge into those folds &
don Chato’s ribald song,
our swaying through their
hamlets, their pueblos, along
that bouldered river.
The Eastern Cordillera
Dawn reveals thick streams serpentining through the páramo.
Light-grey clouds move with the land.
Solitary homes sink into the barren-brown scape gouged by
dried quebradas & caves, brightened by fields of onion.
Two men in heavy wool ponchos talk at a roadside stand.
A girl with a wind-burnt face waits, schoolbooks in hand.
Her thin blond hair flies in the slight breeze.
Wind-eroded stone juts from the leached earth streaked
with pale-blood soil. Herbage finds tenuous hold.
An olive-fatigue soldier brushes his teeth at a hose.
On the porch of a store, another, rifle over shoulder,
speaks with a young, coquettish woman.
By the cloud-entombed road that wends across these
heaven-raking mountains, buzzards hunt along the ground
near a sand-bagged post hidden beneath a drab tarp.
Lorraine Caputo is a wandering troubadour whose poetry appear in over 250 journals on six continents, and 18 collections – including On Galápagos Shores (dancing girl press, 2019) and Escape to the Sea (Origami Poems Project, 2021). She also authors travel narratives, articles and guidebooks. In 2011, the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada honored her verse. Caputo has done literary readings from Alaska to the Patagonia. She journeys through Latin America with her faithful knapsack Rocinante, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth. Follow her adventures at www.facebook.com/lorrainecaputo.wanderer or http://latinamericawanderer.wordpress.com.