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.

Presented by

Sonia María Quiñones

Sonia María Quiñones recently earned her B.F.A. from Eckerd College.

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

Video

Is Minneapolis the Best City in America?

No other place mixes affordability, opportunity, and wealth so well.

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In