• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 08
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Under the Blue Ipê Tree

In spite of what they may have said,
He was not a clown disguised behind inked tears,
With drops tattooed on his cheeks.
His tears were real.

He always wore a wool felt cowboy’s hat,
And parked his wild pinto horse in the tiled veranda,
Surrounded by manicured orchids,
Pierced by rainbow humming birds,
Carrying sugar lumps in their beaks.

His horse waited patiently to rush him back to the desert country,
Lit by the fiery sky of the wastelands…

He was a troubadour, a storyteller,
His stories didn’t die in the silent patches of the surrounding mouldy walls.
Tales came dancing out of his hands,
Stories about places he visited and people he met…

He followed the path of the golden river
Back to his beloved homeland,
He named the ghosts from his childhood,
He once left behind,
But who he never forgot.

He laced his dreams on the passing clouds.

During his life he became suspicious of strangers,
And the familiar faces faded away,
Most of his friends forgot his name.
But in the end it was a stranger who carried him in his arms,
To try to save him.


Under the Blue Ipê Tree

He called his children names as he left this world,
But was only the strange, once again, who came.
His fear of the ‘others’ was finally gone.

So, he didn’t die alone in a foreign land…

The locals stood in line to watch the open casket,
Jesus made of bronze, decorated the coffin’s top,
Which was resting quietly next to it.

There were no familiar faces when the coffin was nailed.
He did not complain.
He forgave all the absents,
And all the long distance unanswered calls.

His final tears were real, not inked.

A small procession followed his coffin.
Toucans were flying above his grave.
Near the fence, a jaguar’s spotted tail pointed to the azure sky,
Angels with carved opened wings,
Stood tall and still on top of the marbled pillars,
Guarding the cemetery’s gates.
Under the blasting heat of the tropical Summer.

He peacefully rested under their shade.


Under the Blue Ipê Tree

My young son sprinkled purple earth over his coffin,
Which was filled with frozen roses,
My mother’s Portuguese scarf held my father’s hands.
He was wearing his only suit.
I planted yellow chrysanthemums around his name.

Then, I set on the top of the hill, under the blue Ipê tree… weeping.

A berry fell on the tip of my straw hat,
A tuscan flew around the tree,
Landing next to my feet.
A gentle breeze shook the leaves,
And whispered with a familiar voice into my ears,
“I love you, my child. I always will.”

I thought of our last walk around the fenced condominium,
How my father held my arm tight, because he was so weak.
He still complained about politicians, and the new janitor.
I smiled remembering.

He never conformed into this world,
And I felt peace knowing that...
Imagining he was looking at me from heaven,
While he was still complaining amongst the angels.