I Love Medellin
Medellin, 2007Medellin, Oh, Medellin… to God, I wish I could take out my heart for you, but how will I sing this song to you without a heart? You, with so much heart for love and poetry, for hope in the eyes of the little girl who with a scrap of white paper, wants me to say a word to her, to autograph my name for her, to write it in her name. She tells me with that unusual smile how she loves my poems, but she is only eight years old.
She and Carlos, the five year old brother who have pushed through the thousands to get to me. Medellin, Oh, Medellin… where we go down from the mountain into the bowl of a city, into the deep heart of a city, so warm, a city where people still smile and clap to a poem, and cry for the war, a city where concrete houses hold up the hills with muscles of steel, muscles of pain, and somewhere along the roads as the bus descends from the airport, the poor have erected their own lives so sadly, waiting, and yet, they overlook the city with hope. From the edge of sharp cliffs and the side roads, the burning lights and flames of the city, hard and indistinguishable from anger. But theirs is of the pain from the years gone. Medellin, Oh, Medellin… Waiting can be so hard, Medellin. And I love you from my heart. I love your laughter, your warm hugs and kisses, your Spanish, so simply plain and warm. I love even your tears that you have shared with me, when a poem I’m reading touches you in that place where only a poem can go. At the International Poetry Festival, you sit there, along your hill arena, clapping, thousands of people, sitting and thinking and listening and hoping, Medellin, I have never seen anything like this before. Thousands of people sitting for long hours at a poetry reading, Medellin… we wait for that day, Medellin, we wait. Trust me, I know how to wait, and I know you do too.