Poetry October 2004

Tío Pancho’s Farewell


Last night our kitchen made music.
I think it was you, Tío Pancho, singing
in the language of dishes and spoons.

Steel pots carried the bass, their meter quirky, slightly askew,
but the tines shimmied a swinging tune.
Last night our kitchen made music,

reminding my father of island stories:
tales of spirits that signal their comings and goings
by speaking in the language of dishes and spoons.

Glass keens in their presence,
and light shatters when they leave.
Last night our kitchen made music,

silver chiming, swallowing light. Were you that stranger
in the winsome dark, murmuring tales of passing
in the language of dishes and spoons?

Were we your first farewell, Tío Pancho?
It’s not fair. I wasn’t ready to hear you go.
Last night you made music, salsa rhythms,
one last beat, in the language of dishes and spoons.

Sonia María Quiñones recently earned her B.F.A. from Eckerd College.
Jump to comments
Presented by
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Sad Desk Lunch: Is This How You Want to Die?

How to avoid working through lunch, and diseases related to social isolation.

Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus


Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more


Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.


What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world



More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In