Two Poems By Amelia Díaz Ettinger

Cebu Poem: Loggerheads and Leatherbacks 

Once in the Caribbean brine,
away from the prying eyes of my father,
lost in blue with the smell of fish-bones on our skin.
I gave myself to you, soft as the inside of a mollusk.

Bashful as the turtles we were chasing.
Coast after coast following the nesting sites,
every egg marked and mapped, 
each freckle traced by your finger —naming constellations.

We navigated with the laughter of our crew,
two desperate boys, who robbed at night
the future of those nests, unseen to us ‘the protectors’
while we stole each other’s breath under the Antinous stars.

Plundered nests before the sun entered those waters,
under the fading eye of Yucayú,
just as you left without saying adiós
leaving me alone on sand, ocean, and new discovered fire.
Pantoum for Passion Fruit,
Passiflora eulis

In my father’s garden a wild vine grew,
lush and verdant and full of passion fruit.
His uncertain hands pruned this precious vine
for her fecundity, he knew, was filled with sun.

Lush and verdant and full of passion fruit,
the taste of laughter in every nibble
for her fecundity he knew was filled with sun,
the memory of this man who loved his soil.

The taste of laughter in every nibble
la Parcha Verde or Granadilla
the memory of this man who loved his soil,
in those years of rain, anguish, and sometimes love.

La Parcha Verde or Granadilla,
his uncertain hands pruned this precious vine
in those years of rain, anguish, and sometimes love.
In my father’s garden a wild vine grew.

Amelia Díaz Ettinger is a ‘Mexi-Rican,’ born in México but raised in Puerto Rico. She has two full-length poetry books published; Learning to Love a Western Sky by Airlie Press, and a bilingual poetry book, Speaking at a Time /Hablando a la Vez by Redbat Press. A historical/environmental poetry chapbook, Fossils in a Red Flag is being released by Finishing Line Press, in 2021. Presently, Amelia Díaz Ettinger is working on an MFA in creative writing at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande Oregon.

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