Saturday, December 24, 2016

Coming Back Christmas

Tante Elsie

One must leave one’s mountains
one must descend early in the day
through ice and snow, fog banks,
ripped up trees and branches helter-skelter,
one must leave one’s silent warm cabin on Christmas
and descend through the trees
down the long grade in fog, way down.
One must leave one’s silent cabin 

full of fire, full of sadness,
silent, remembering,
on Christmas one must come to family,
come down through the trees 

while smoke curls up through the woods,
come down to help old Tante by her stove,
down to a place with children, with messes,
with pots and pans helter-skelter in Tante’s kitchen,
where there will be singing and jigs playing,
“Ihr Kinderlein kommet” and the Crist-kindl,
chocolates in tree branches and sooty fingers,
the old stove that pops and moans,
family groaning around the table,
with resentments, accomplishments, aches and pains,
medicines and red wine and forgotten addresses,
all of us elbow-to-elbow, hunters and hairdressers,
poets and plumbers,
day-to-day survivors making do.
One must come in a hurry on Christmas,
come gladly to the loud rooms of one’s family,
full of judgments and kind advice,
full of wariness and unspoken joys.
One must remember to leave one’s quiet warm cabin 

full of sadness
and come down each Christmas, be pulled magnetic
to let one’s heart warm again unbidden,
with no plan, just you, and nothing else.

Annelinde Metzner

December 25, 2005
Phoenix Cove

I wrote this poem in 2005 one year after my son passed away, and we had been hit by two hurricanes in Autumn.  I am honoring my wonderful ancestors who have passed into the spirit, and I thank them for how they taught me to love life every single day.

My son Peter

Friday, December 16, 2016

La Reina de America

Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, all photos by Sylvia Ponce

We honored our Great Mother,
Queen of America,
filling the largest stadium in Charlotte with our joy.
There She was, emblazoned with gold and light,
Her joyous followers all gathered in love.
The people danced, children and elders,
sturdy young men leaping and stamping,
bright colors flashing.  For Her!  For Her!
Quietly She gazed as group after group
paid homage to Her with their dances and their prayers.
The men sang, the musicians played, for Her.
Tears streamed down my face.
“This is my world,” my soul was whispering,
my roughed-up soul, who had seen such deceit,
my soul who had come face-to-face so recently
with disrespect, violence, viciousness and lies.
“This is my world,” She whispered to me,
pouring from my face in tears,
tears of recognition, relief, remembrance.
Empress of the Americas!
Flags of all colors, North, South and Central,
paraded the aisle with a flourish and a spin, for Her.
Children gazed in wonder, 

shiny black hair beribboned with color.
A man with Her image on his poncho, Juan Diego!
Ready for the North Carolina cold.
“Que Viva la Reina de America!” (Viva!)
“Que viva la Morenita Virgencita!” (Viva!)
Tears on my face, my soul leaping, 

the parade continued before Her,
teenagers with boxes full of roses,
young men leaping, feathers flying,
all for Her, and there She is smiling,
my soul weeping, all of us cheering,
a glad returning to this night for Her,
for all of us, for the beauty of the world,
for the healing,
La Reina de America.

Annelinde Metzner
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 12, 2016