We cannot lock our doors to dreams. They enter where they will
and we cannot put them out when we have had our fill.
They wander through the rooms of us, half part of us, half ghosts
who all night long make use of us as their compliant hosts.
The one whose skirts are widest, who fills the most of me,
is a vibrant lady who stretches sea to sea.
She brings her music with her, caught up in her hair.
Auras of mariachi swirl around her in the air.
Paint oozes from her fingertips and ornaments the wall,
creating lovely murals depicting nearly all
of what she has to offer: the castillos and fiestas,
empanadas, handicrafts, salsa and siestas.
Chihuahuas yap about her heels. Vaqueros follow after.
Pinatas and serapes are hung from every rafter.
Her history trails behind her—subjugation, revolution.
Every wave of conquerors offering absolution
for what came before it—wave after wave of those
with sacrificial knives or guns and armor worn as clothes.
Mayan, Aztec, Spaniards, French, Americans all seeking
gold or land or slaves or a sacrifice that’s leaking
out behind her in a trail of footsteps made of blood
pooling into earth beneath everywhere she stood.
Chiles, corn and amaranth flavor all the food
that she provides with plenty to feed her hungry brood.
The dreamer sups with all the rest, slipping away at last
when the morning beams of sun over the bed are cast.
Then she awakes to a world that dreams can only echo—
the coatimundi, fighting cock, the donkey and the gekko.
Creatures, food and music catch her in their grasp
and before she can struggle or even scream or gasp,
she’s held in the real world, imprisoned in the beam
of what through the whole long night she’d thought to be a dream.
For NaPoWriMo we are to write an aisling, a poetic form that developed in Ireland. An aisling recounts a dream or vision featuring a woman who represents the land or country on/in which the poet lives, and who speaks to the poet about it. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that recounts a dream or vision, and in which a woman appears who represents or reflects the area in which you live.