El Guaire, Long-Lost Dreamer, Summer Bummer
2021, Senior, Poetry & Spoken Word
My uncommon ally travels from San Pedro on track
You loved my father with the beating of a mother
And taught him how to float on your back,
The air of brown bodies pressed against each other
Smells like summer in Caracas, 1849.
You flowed your message through the houses of strangers alike
All gathered by the table, spoon, and knife.
The woman pressed her washed-down hands
With the water from the Guaire blessing the blend
Helping the humble in the city with your amen,
Protector of the city vein.
My brother swims gracefully
While I try to touch your flooring
I’ve been scared of looking below
But your encouraging flow
Moves through my limbs and I become
President Antonio Blanco doesn’t care for you,
I’ve seen it with my own eyes
One green and the other blue
He told my brother all about it,
While the nonchalant earth riders
Throw their rotten meat into your hues.
Mother, you are so ready to keep going
But you weren’t made to resist the waste of others,
You are used to careful sunsets and legs of children
Wondering how to swim.
The president doesn’t care for you,
Even though he travels from San Pedro, too
Even though he has a dream, too
Obsessed with urban planning, a perfected social view
Has forgotten of his summers
In Caracas ‘42.
Mother, I’m still with you,
It has been a century since I loved you,
Your dutiful child.
Promise after promise of rebirth
Taken from a government that doesn’t care
Empty shells of guns fall into your river
A myriad of green uniforms that wish to pull the trigger.
“Let’s not go near El Guaire since that means death”
Everything you touch fades away
The people that you loved have gone astray
The city that you serve found a city vein,
Mother, you are forgotten
Dreaming of a long-lost summer.
I started writing this poem after researching more about "El Rio Guaire," a famous river in Venezuela sadly known for the ecological damage that it has endured since the XIX century. Even though I grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, I'm ashamed at the complete disregard I had for such a necessary river that could be helping so many people today. Antonio Guzman Blanco was a Venezuelan president that caused the biggest ecological damage the city has seen. Before him, the river was both a resource and a pleasurable river where low-income communities could bathe and collect water. Today, Venezuela lacks enough running water to provide for the whole city at once, and needs to schedule water services for citizens. My goal is to raise awareness and prevent this from happening anywhere else. To anyone reading this: protect your rivers and lakes, raise your voice against politicians who think any body of water is a dumping ground.