Mamita de cara curtida

El aguayo en tu espalda

Sonríes aun cargada

Contenta con tu jornada

See the mountains that grow high above our heads

Bent down low to the earth the Bolivian woman is small

She lays the woven fabric on the ground

Then in those colored threads she lays her burdens

A fold, a twist, a swing and the thing she flings

Upon her sturdy back nestles on her shoulders

Tucked from view, hidden in the yarn

There in the dark a protected bit of her life

Precious baby, her wares or some goods

How does she face the monotony of the daily haul?

Does she fuss or complain

Trudging through market, street, bus and barrio?

Her cloth, el aguayo

Traditional weave, el tejido

Of coarse hairs of the herd

Of her land

See the looming mount standing in our path calling itself change

Bent down low to the earth I weep small prayers

Laid before me the fabric of my life, the people dear to me

Then in those diverse folds of humanity I lay my burdens

My love, my fears, my pains and joys, the things I fling

Upon my back made sturdy by living, I let it all settle in

Tucked from view, hidden in the threads

There in the dark a protected bit of life

Precious family, work or dear friends

How do I face the relentless change of the daily haul?

Do I fuss or complain

Labored steps crossing the street; crossing the world?

My cloth, el aguayo

Traditions woven, las tejidas

Coarse prayers are heard

Of clasped hands

You the red with the firey passion

You the blue with the calm reflection

You the green with the new ambition

You the yellow with the warm welcome

You the pink with the staying smile

You the black with the tenacious style

You the purple, happy through the trial

You are wrapped around me

Woven through me

The dust ground in the tiny overlaps of existence

Wetted by the rains and stayed by the wind

The strings stained permanent

A reminder that the only thing that doesn’t change

Is that things always change

I grasp for what I know, fingering the familiar knots

Holding on tight as my neck is choked by the haul

That familiar pain of strain in the bones pulls at the soul

The woman, the bearer

Bears in her womb posterity

Bears on her shoulders life

Borne in her heart the elation and devastation of love

The woman gratefully wraps the aguayo around her body

She knows it weighs her down

But its contents are the sustenance of life

So I embrace the changes before me

Or rather let them embrace my heaving frame

For these are the tejidas of life

5 thoughts on “Tejidas

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