The air is heavy like a dirty woolen blanket
each colorful strand pulled through the warp.
Horns blare and traffic skids and screeches
as unborn accidents are aborted
by fancy-pants cops.
The city slickers in their posh clothes
zip along toward the outskirts
avoiding those in dirndl-shaped, Polleras skirts
and Monteras hats, as if ashamed,
either of their own roots, or of the neglect.
The road to El Salvador* is long
weaving along rough pacific shore lines
wefting past fishing villages,
and cement factories with tangerine groves,
each lane bringing the colors of modern life.
The oranges, red and pinks of fine fabric repeated
in on the metal surfaces of trucks, buses, and motor cabs.
Each person’s destiny pulled and pushed
by the action of man, earth and tide
forward, ever forward..through
the dunes of Lima’s desert.
The invaders hug the hillside,
thousands upon thousands, of rural poor,
driven from the teat of the mother by earth quakes
and the terror caused by The Shining Path.*
Mao lives on in the upheaval caused by his ideology.
Yet, so does ayni*, the helping hand of neighbor,
the brown-skinned hand, more used
to the bobbin than the gun.
Here they have come in oneness
a finished soul on a back-strap loom,
dyed and drying in the heat
of Lima’s desert
*El Salvador- a shanty-town 45 min outside of Lima
with 350,000 residents. This community was nominated
for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 excellence
in social work and community growth
**Shining Path-The Communist Party of Peru
is a Maoist terrorist organization in Peru.[
*** ayni- Quechua culture is centered upon community
and mutual help (“ayni”). Their social system is based
on the principle of reciprocity: helping a neighbor
to be helped in return.