Aubade: Cesar Vallejo Wakes the Forest

-for E

Dawn comes dim and undeclared,

the sky is the mother’s face

sheltering her last child–

this is how revolution begins

again–the green child

hears her mother cry,

hears the song of the rain


in the green minds

of the trees finally discovering

their leaf-budded knuckles.


We have the right

to be green and happy and dangerous.*


Last night’s dream

of chisel and block, of tears runneling the earth

is the perennial dream of love and death,

the enduring dream of justice,

from which we wake


and then dream becomes conviction

in our hand– a solid

tumbled rock

in this water-made world,

a weight or a weapon

we chose to carry

or throw.


–Arlitia Jones, May 8, 2015


*This line is borrowed from Cesar Vallejo from LXXIII, Trilce, translated by Clayton Eshleman, Marsilio Publishers, New York, 1992.


2 Comments on “Green and Happy and Dangerous

    • Thank you, Anne. I remembered the Vallejo lines this morning listening to the rain and then the whole thing broke open… you know the feeling. 🙂


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