Where did it come from?
I’m not sure.
in mother’s archival chest of scented cedar –
an embroidery-stitched colcha shawl
Push Pull Loop Anchor
Made of long, wool strands from churro sheep
herded from New Spain to New Mexico
Natural, indigenous dyes –
Charma bush, Brazilian wood chips
and traded indigo,
Touched by earth and sky
Pull Loop Anchor Push
Smoky-blue sabanilla cloth
Rough, textured tapestry –
Motifs of flora and fauna,
Long tassels sway in the
high-desert breeze –
A simple grace
Loop Anchor Push Pull
My bones inform me that –
traveling from San Geronimo to Torres
over the Sangre De Cristo Mountains
along the Purgatoire River
Mi Abuela, Apollonia Benavidez
packed her dishes, a silver cross
and the colcha shawl in a chest of scented cedar
Pull Push Loop Anchor
Wrapped in familial history
One ancestral strand
connects my body and spirit
in my broken moments –
A tender embrace
Anchor Push Pull Loop
*Colcha Treasure Translations: Colcha is a traditional mending approach used by the Spanish pioneer women to strengthened cloth that had holes. Later it became an art form for making coverings for beds, furniture or simply a shawl.
Dedicated to my maternal (Mi abuela) grandmother, Apollonia Benavidez
Published 2011 Santa Fe Literary Review.
H. Marie Aragón, a member of High Desert Poets lives and writes in Santa Fe. Her work is often grounded in her ancestral history in New Mexico and Colorado. Marie’s work is published in various literary magazines.