With the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, by Marguerite Guzman Bouvard, 1993


100_7621 100_7622With the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo

By: Maruerite Guzman Bouvard

Igneus press






When you put on your white paƱuelos

at the airport so I could recognize you, the crowd

edged away in fear. I embraced you,

but I carried my own fear, of colonels

and torturers, the bored voice of the embassy official.

Later, I was afraid of the waiter who brought tea

to my room each morning and looked

at my scattered notes from under the beetle-brows

of the security police. I remembered the advice

of friends, If you see the same person

in front of your hotel, take note.

The first time I went to the plaza for your weekly march,

I was afraid of the unmarked cars of the police,

the eyes of their video cameras through the car windows.

But you fanned out through the indifferent streets

as if you owned them, settling on the stone benches

of the plaza like a cloud of butterflies.

When you marched, I followed as I were following

holy footsteps. The rain that pummeled the square

filled my shoes, and the old masks fell away.


from Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Marguerite Guzman Bouvard, Igneus Press, Bedford, NH, 1993, p. 15.