On Poetry and Culture Shock

Feliz Cumpleaños, Irene

Today it's the birthday of my wonderful cousin-and-friend Irene, who saved my life once or twice. Really. I can't say she's my "best" friend because that somehow diminishes some of my other very good friends.

Anyway, the poetry. These are all the poems I've written that are directly inspired by her. The gossipy note for those who need it: number 1 is one of my earliest, I sat with the idea of writing about Irene, but didn't know exactly how. When we were children, she was blondish, I was dark, and we liked to play with dolls together until we were way too old for them. The "forbidden" bit was that we were supposed to entertain her little brother, but keeping him out was part of the fun. I know, I know, the result looks like lesbian erotica. Which isn't a bad thing necessarily. Number 2 is a simple description of what happened when she came to visit me in Aberdeen, one month of may in which snow fell from a clear sky. Number 3 is another simple description of me locking myself out of the mountain refuge where ten of us wer spending a weekend.

Brunette and blonde hide.
No longer children.
Forbidden games are always best.

Una morena y una rubia.
Ya no son niñas.
Los juegos prohibidos siempre son mejores.

Snow melts in the air.
Under her coat, she shivers.
Seagulls around us.

La nieve se funde en el aire.
Bajo su abrigo, ella tirita.
Gaviotas a nuestro alrededor.

Alone, out at dawn.
The icy wind wraps me up
While my friends sleep.

Salgo sola, al amanecer.
El viento gélido me envuelve
Mientras mis amigos duermen.

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