Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Visiting My Daughter, an Exchange Student in Spain

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Of course, I believe that in this land,
where storks nesting in chimneys
guarantee a family good luck,
she will be unchanged:

eighteen, still with skinny wrists,
blond hair that won't take a curl,
and all her dreams,
bundled as they are with mine,

still in her pale-lashed eyes.
We meet her new family,
smile a conversation we don't understand,
and on the second day head west

in a rented Ford, toward Pizarro's tomb--Trujillo,
where garlic simmers
behind blanketed doorways
cacti scrabble up hillsides,

and in the town square,
when I toss a coin into the fountain,
I watch my daughter's face reflected there,
dissolve into clefts and ripples.

An old woman, billowed in black,
leads us to a saffron-hued church
at the top of the hill,
and when the sun slants across the tile floor,

she speaks to my daughter
in syllables filled with Gypsy music,
the sweetness of oranges,
My daughter laughs,

brushes the woman's shoulder,
and with my awkward American tongue,
I slip into shadow.


Suellen Wedmore is the Poet Laureate for the seaside town of Rockport, Massachusetts, and has been published in Phoebe, College English, Green Mountains Review, The Cancer Poetry Project and others. Recently, she won first place in the national Writer’s Digest<Rhyming Poem Contest, first place in the annual Byline Literary Award contest, and first place in the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum contest.


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