Ediciones Vigía, Matanzas, Cuba

LA LLORONA Handmade bilingual edition of my poem with Spanish translation by María Vázquez Valdez

, by Margaret Randall

It should come as no surprise.
I found her
by the banks of the San Antonio.
I know, you’d think she’d choose
the Rio Grande or Colorado
for her nightly walks:
rivers of strength and purpose,
dividing nations or raging
through the greatest canyon of them all.
But I knew
she preferred more intimate beauty.
I’d done my homework.

I almost didn’t hear her whispered wail
between the moan of freight trains
charging night
in that south Texas city.
I thought I discerned a minor key,
high harmony in late September
and followed the sound
notebook in hand,
sharpened pencil ready.

Around the bend she sat alone,
magnificent profile
hidden beneath her long black veil
I confused at first
with tree shadows in quiet air.
Almost midnight,
still high nineties.
Who could sleep?
I thought she might run
but she turned
slowly toward me,
seemed resigned to talk...