poem was a semifinalist for the 1997 Emily Dickinson Award.]
a good fit! But the label says Honduras:
I am Union forever, yes, both breasts
the heart between them committed to U.S. labor.
such a splendid fit! And the label tells
woman who made it, bronze as the breasts now in
the language I dream in; I count in Spanish
pesos she made stitching this breast-divider:
they go for her son's tuition, her daughter's
thought is a lovely fit, but oh, the label!
oh, those pesos that may be pennies, and
it son or daughter who made this, unschooled,
old? Fourteen? Ten? That fear
is a tight fit.
only the heart could be worn like the breast,
in two directions for news of the wide world,
here and there for justice, for mercy.
burdened every choice is with politics, guilt,
with duty, heavy as breasts in need of
perfect fit whose label says Honduras.
Rhina P. Espaillat
From Where Horizons Go, ©
1998, New Odyssey Press; first
published in E,
the prize-winners' anthology
(see note above).
by permission of the author.