Ven Acá, Vagabunda*

My mother bore me in the southern world,
        and I am black, but O my soul is white.
Adando en las arenas yo decide dejarte
when the stars threw down their spears.
I see this rag-covered man pushing a shopping cart;
ven acá, vagabunda.

 I have never heard a prayer that began with my name.
Quiero que sepas una cosa,
I saw you
hating white devils and black bourgeoisie.
Ven acá, vagabunda.

All I wanted was your love,
que tiene?
I see this rag-covered man pushing a shopping cart
hating white devils and black bourgeoisie.
Ven acá, vagabunda.

– PRW

This poem is written in the form commonly known as the “cento”, and what makes it unique is the fact that each line is from a different poem. In my unabashed confidence I began this poem thinking it was going to be an easy endeavor – it was at first – but after a couple of hours had passed I realized I had six poetry books open in my attempt to create a cohesive string of lines that one could call “poetry”. I used a large span of poets: from Pablo Neruda to Patricia Smith, William Blake to Margaret Walker, I even had to reach for back-burner poets like Grace Bruenderman. Centos are generally limited to a short stanza, and that’s where I wanted to create my separation (it was also what caused my problems). In the end, I think it worked out.

* Here is a list of translations for the people like myself who lack the ability to speak Spanish:

Title:Come here, vagabond
Line 2: Walking in the sand I decided to leave you
Line 5: Come here, vagabond

Line 7: I want you to know one thing
Line 10: Come here, vagabond
Line 12: what’s wrong with you?
Line 15: Come here, vagabond

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2 responses to “Ven Acá, Vagabunda*

  1. Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed reading it very much. Reading and writing poetry relaxes me and I think it’s soothing for the soul. Great job.

    A Poem for Mothers

  2. eso fue maravilloso.

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