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A Gypsy Cave Home












Granada, Remastered

 And that she nurs'd him in a Cave

            — “Love,” William Wordsworth


It’s the Gypsy cave

house in Sacromonte that calls me

back five months later, through a gaping

crack in the walls of this grieving heart, a memory

 

of ducking my head

to get in the blue doorway, instantly

at home in that cavern dug into the clay-

quartzite-chrysolite cliff, testaments all around

 

of picks and shovels

in the whitewashed walls, our heads

bent as in prayer under low ceilings, sweat

dripping down my back as I conjured incantations

 

of gratitude for a savory soup

I imagined bubbling in a cast iron pot,

onions carrots pumpkin green beans tomatoes

pears seasoned with saffron, smoked paprika, fresh mint

 

wafting out the door,

carried off on a soft brisa

over reddish-brown tiled roofs to the imposing

Alhambra across a green valley, sorrowful pilgrims

 

In the breathtaking nave,

necks bent back, eyes skyward

toward the stained-glass light seeking

forgiveness for sins they have not committed, shadows

 

cast on silent worshippers

in pews pleading for mercy, pleading

for safety, pleading for love, for peace of mind,

for heaven on earth, please please please Daddy …

 

please forgive me! please

please please Mommy … take me away

in your arms, carry me down the hill, carry me up

the narrow, cobbled streets, carry me into that grotto

 

dug into the broken heart

of a mountain where forgiveness is

always understood, not bestowed, where love

is never earned, never denied, mercy etched into

 

the milky walls, a man

at the door with a pick, woman

unbuttoning a floral cotton dress, infant

at her breast, sacred refuge for our unrelenting ache.

 

            —SL, Port Royal, SC, March 2024

 


 

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margarita meyendorff
margarita meyendorff
Mar 14

Love those images! Miky and I traveled extensively in Spain and Portugal in a vw Westfalia camper. Your poems bring back so many wonderful memories and of course, I hear the grief throughout. Thank you for opening a window to us and for continuing to write.

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write4hire
Mar 18
Replying to

i'm so grateful that you're listening, Mourka!

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