Here, the trees pay their respects, mourn openly,
wear dreadlocks of hanging Spanish moss
sun bleached ash-blue and swaying; in seawind
they become prayer shawls
salted with dust, grief threads of every kind
“I think so much of engaging in poetry (and in all art, at least art that’s not terrible and designed to preserve structures of power and oppression) is an exercise in empathy. Maybe at its base, poetry is paying close attention and then putting intentional language to communicate to another person what you’ve found.”
I’m not as concerned about the endings or how people interpret them as I am in showing a change or shift—by the end of the story—in the characters’ hearts. Also, I think open endings require a little more work of the reader; that, when a scene or story is left open, the reader gets to imagine for him/herself how things might’ve turned out.
Among this book’s major themes and images is that of the house—that structure that is often what holds a family. What happens when that house is emptied of its inhabitants? When that house has grown vacant, or has become abandoned by the departure or passing of those who lived there?
Such images, alien to our suburban lives, along with her shifts into mixed Spanish and English, revealed how much my grandmother still lived in that other place. She denied wanting ever to return to Spain but followed news from her native country with keen interest, eager for the demise of the Franco dictatorship, an event she lived long enough to celebrate.