More on La Llorona

The Grief of La Llorona

Easy for a mother to grasp La Llorona,
despite each mean version in the myth
of her motives for ‘killing’ her children.
Every mother gives her children up.
The child for whom she would give her life
can never be retrieved from the river of time.
Every mother becomes
a Woman in White, endlessly crying.

She is the mother who asks,
*What is sorrow and what is not sorrow?
They are dead who do not weep.
The child divine become the suffering man,
and La Llorona, a living Pietá.

The flowers cry when she passes
and remembers her child
running to bring his Mama a bloom.
*Do not think because she sings
her heart is joyful. One also sings from pain.
If you see her weeping under a tamarind tree
or if you see her singing,
the Banshee ghost, the grieving mother,
know her haunting comes from being haunted.

I, too, wander the riverbanks
and notice every child who reminds me
of the beautiful boy who vanished
into the magnificent man.
The door of my heart always ajar
to the baby, the toddler, the child
who will never again walk through.
Every mother, La Llorona.

Every mother gives her children up.
But those whose children are ripped from their arms
at borders where they’re deemed illegal,
those whose children flee to find a better life,
whose sons and daughters ride the Beast train,
their mothers never knowing
if their children live or die;
not even the tears of La Llorona,
though vast as all the oceans,
can plumb the depth of grief these mothers suffer.
Every mother gives her children up, but these
who weep for children gone to ghosts,
these are the mothers who show us  today
the face of La Llorona’s haunted loss.

©Susa Silvermarie 2018



It is interesting to me that after just publishing a story on La Llorona (that is also on this blog) that I should find this fine poem.

La Llorona is much on my mind these days as I visit the river. I hear her weeping for all the women who have been assaulted/raped and are not believed. I hear her weeping for all the mothers who have had children ripped away from them. I hear hear weeping for all the animals and plants that are disappearing as I speak… her keening fills my heart with grief.

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