By Carmen Tafolla Carmen Tafolla
The pathways of my thoughts are cobbled with
        mesquite blocks
                and narrow-winding,
        long and aged like the streets of
                san fernando de bexar
                        y la villa real de san antonio

                y callados
        cada uno con su chiste
                        crazy turns
        that are because they are,
                centuries magic

cada uno hecho así,
        y with a careful
                capricho touch,

They curl slowly into ripples,
        earthy and cool like the Río Medina
                under the trees
                        silently singing, standing still,
                and flowing, becoming,
and always as always
        still fertile, laughing, loving,
                        Río Medina
                                under the trees,
                                        celebrating life.

They end up in the monte, chaparral,
        llenos de burrs, spurs
                pero libres
Running through the hills freefoot
       con aire azul
               blue breaths peacefully taken
                       between each lope
                               remembering venado
                                       remembering conejos
                                                               we came from

Carmen Tafolla, "Caminitos" from Curandera. Copyright © 2012 by Carmen Tafolla.  Reprinted by permission of Wings Press.

Source: Curandera (Wings Press, 2012)

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Poet Carmen Tafolla

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

 Carmen  Tafolla


Carmen Tafolla is a poet, author, teacher, educational consultant, and sought-after speaker and performer. A native of the West-Side barrios of San Antonio, Texas, Tafolla earned a BA, MA, a PhD from the University of Texas, Austin. In 1973, she became Director of the Mexican-American Studies Center at Texas Lutheran College where she initiated, among other projects, the El Premio Roberto Salinas Award to recognize students who . . .

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Poems by Carmen Tafolla

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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