Our Lady of Guadalupe
In light she appeared to Juan Diego,
December 1531, outside Mexico City,
& she asked of him that a church
be built in her name.
To prove the human’s claim
she bade him gather the flowers
that covered Tepeyac Hill that morning,
those bright miracles blooming
against the winter cold.
He made a basket of his rough cloak,
and her holy hands arranged the blooms.
Run, Diego, future saint, return to the city.
Bear the burden of having witnessed
something too beautiful to prove.
Let fall the flowers from your tilma
& reveal the painted image of Our Lady –
angels at her feet and stars for her crown.
Like you, Lola, how you appeared to me too briefly
in color & in perfume. To have laid my cheek
against your cheek was a blessing,
though I did not know it then.
How could you bid me to go forth without you,
how to bear witness to your name?
Bravely I gather all that I know of you into my arms,
like so many flowers growing in the cold,
& when I finally summon the strength
to let go your sweet weight, I let you go gladly
knowing you are painted holy on my hands,
with angels at your feet, Lola,
and there are stars in your hair.