Yerma
by Jeannine M. Pitas


If you'd only let me

I could show you the sun
blinking among the trees

the wildflowers growing
amid the grass of your husband's pastures

Yerma
If you'd only let me

I could show you the space between
the stomp of the flamenco dancer

and the satin of her dress
between the mask and the face

between the finger
and the guitar string

Yerma
If you'd only listen

to your neighbor's wise words:
Only women turn to dust for nothing.

I would take the dust
that you've become

cup it in my hands, plant it
in the ground

and water it until finally
you'd spread over the grass

like dandelions
covering your pastures

with gold


*Yerma (which translates from the Spanish as “Barren”) is the title character in Federico Garcia Lorca's 1934 tragedy of a childless woman in a loveless marriage in rural Spain whose depression and desperation ultimately lead her to madness.






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