Weekly Poem: Preface

April 08, 2013

Voices, Art / Culture, Poetry

Nineteen-thirty-six: I hurried as always
but was late. Eight centuries
or ten thousand years,
my small story fixed to my back.
Food came weighed and wrapped,
shelter engorged, surplus.
My own, my own, my own
was a mantra I could sing
in any season.
I could be who I was
and also anyone else.

I was late and also much too early.
I came to justice
before its time.
Unprepared to receive me,
its rough grasp hurt my hand,
embedded its promises in my flesh.
Juggling gender
I was early and also late.
Juggling children, service,
my explosion of words
on stone, parchment,
or floating cyber cloud.

Only poetry and love met me
where we laughed.
After so many false starts
they came in whole and sure
before the finish line.
My hand fit the ancient print,
a radius of living settled
on my shoulders.
I am lunar standstill now,
calendar of hope.

It is 2013, and I discover
I am perfectly on time.
Soon I will disappear
together with all my kind,
and the earth
with its synchronized clock
will wake some green-blue morning,
its rhythms safe at last.

This piece was written by:

Margaret Randall 's photo

Margaret Randall

Margaret Randall (1936) was born in New York City but grew up in Albuquerque and lived half of her adult life in Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua. When she returned to the U.S. in 1984 she was ordered deported under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality's McCarran-Walter Act. The government alleged that her writings, "went against the good order and happiness of the United States." She won her case in 1989.

She is a local poet who reads nationally and internationally. Among her recent books of poetry are My Town, As If The Empty Chair / Como Si La Silla Vacia, and The Rhizome As A Field of Broken Bones, all from Wings Press, San Antonio, Texas. A feminist poet's reminiscence of Che Guevara, Che On My Mind, is just out from Duke University Press, a new collection of essays, More Than Things, is out from The University of Nebraska Press, and Daughter of Lady Jaguar Shark, a single long-poem with 15 photographs, is now available from Wings. Her most recent poetry collection is About Little Charlie Lindbergh (also from Wings Press).

Randall resides in Albuquerque with her partner, the painter Barbara Byers, and travels widely to read and lecture. You can find out more about Margaret, her writings and upcoming readings at, www.margaretrandall.org.

Contact Margaret Randall

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