Marta Alvarado, History Professor

In September
beyond the
breezes and the smoke
when autumn unveils its
fiery shell,
I think of you
fragile and severe,
small and immense

You were a
traveler through demented and subtle geographies
with your magic wand singing
about Yugoslavia
and Lebanon
Chile and Peru
—Those details on imaginary sheets, doubtful
you would get lost
because true
history was made by women
the girl-women
and the old women.

When the children of war
become a nebulous flame
when the earth's shell
is a shawl afire with gold,
I name you, Marta Alvarado,
arriving almost at dawn
with your bony woolen gloves
to open the school's doors
and the defiance of your notebook.

Margorie Agosín, "Marta Alvarado, History Professor" from Floricanto Si: A Collection of Latina Poetry. Copyright © 1998 by Margorie Agosín. Reprinted by permission of Margorie Agosín.
Source: Floricanto Si: A collection of Latina Poetry (Penguin Putnam Inc., 1998)
More Poems by Marjorie Agosín