To Frida on her birthday

On the occasion of your birthday, I sat and studied the hollyhock, the backdrop of my landscape, scattered among the adobes, and thought how they grow so tall, with no rain to quench their thirst, out of the dust, sprung forth from the rib of the earth, Eve in the form of a flower, they remain proud with their petals that open like your magnificent colored skirts, red, pink and yellow. Petals, which seem so frail, but can withstand a land forsaken by the shade, not a showoff like the rose, no, they dance freely on the wind, for their own joy, not for me, or anyone else.  I wonder did my grandmothers gather the seeds up in their pockets on the long journey over, all the while with babies on their backs, husbands to feed, a new life waiting in a foreign land, isn’t that always how it is, a woman thinks of beauty even in the midst of harshness and like your broken back curved along the spine, that managed to straighten itself out to paint your reflection, the hollyhock stands itself up reaching to the sky, with the clouds spread out like one of your paintings, and there it reaches up as if to say, here I am, strong like Frida, strong like a woman.

Published in Kindred Magazine Issue 12


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