There won’t be any rain today. The Sierra north of Seville
is vigorous and green, each blade of grass throwing a long
early-morning shadow. Bulls and cows swim the pantano,
lowing when they reach the other side. Don Quixote
and Sancho are out for a morning ride, their lanced shadows
as drawn by Picasso for a Cervantes illustration.
Retired rejoneadores straight-backed, a peon spans
the oxens, the sharp light of Andalusia reflecting
off the laguna and silvering the column of smoke
from burning chaff, the horses pirouette—the light
crisping their coiffed manes—then dance backward,
step-by-step, trained in dressage.
Saddling our horses I can feel another century
leaning into the stable windows. You in waistcoat,
brown leather chaps and the obligatory broad,
straight-brimmed hat. You swing into the saddle
and grab your long lance. The costume part of a ritual
performed for hundreds of years, and I know
I shall forever be a stranger to you.
A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of TANGENTS, a poetry collection published in the UK in 2010/2011, her work has been widely published in US poetry journals (online and print). She was twice winner of the Goodreads monthly competition, a new poetry collection (‘From the Ruhr to Somewhere Near Dresden 1939-1949) has been published by Aldrich Press in May 2016, and another new collection is to be published by Kelsay Books 2016/2017.