Not Here

Lorna Dee Cervantes

A fifth generation Californian of Mexican and Native American (Chumash) heritage, Lorna Dee Cervantes was born in 1954, in San Francisco, and raised in San Jose. She is the author of From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger (Arte Público Press, 1991) and Emplumada (1981), which won an American Book Award. 

Understanding the meaning of this enigmatic poem isn't easy, but who says  poetry has to be easy?  That's often the reward of a great poem, you have to dig - and even then only get a glimpse of what the poet is saying.

Not here”, she says, and diverts the stream.
“Not here”, she whispers and converts the lunar waves. 
“Not here”, she sings and prevents the clots of summer from settling on her skin.
”Not here,” she murmurs, and currents desire into tide pools. 
“Not here”, she startles in the thicket and looks away.
“Not here,” she confronts my gaze 
like a deer in the bristling meadow, 
and returns to feed.

copyright by Lorna Dee Cervantes