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Jesus Never Understood My Grandmother's Prayers.

 My grandmother never learned Spanish
 was afraid of forgetting her gods was afraid of waking up in the
without the prodigals of her offspring in her memory. My grandmother
believed that you could only talk to the wind in Zoque but she kneeled
before the saints and prayed with more fervor than anyone. Jesus never
heard her my grandmother's tongue smelled like rose apples and
her eyes lit up when she sang with the brightness of a star. Saint
Michael the Archangel never heard her my grandmother's prayers
were sometimes blasphemies jukis'tyt
 she said and the pain stopped patsoke
 she yelled and time paused beneath her bed. In that same bed she
birthed her seven sons. 

Visit the WLT website to listen to a biligual (Zoque/English) recording of thispoem.

Mikeas Sanchez was born in Chiapas, Mexico in 1980. She writes in her native language,Zoque, spoken by about seventy thousand indigenous Mexicans in thesouthern state of Chiapas. In addition to her work as a poet, she is atranslator and director of the Indigenous radio program XECOPA. Sheearned a master's in education at the Autonomous University ofBarcelona. She has published two books of poetry, produced severalbilingual albums, and contributed to many anthologies of Indigenouspoetry.

For a bio of David Shook, turn to page 15.

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Author:Sanchez, Mikeas
Publication:World Literature Today
Article Type:Poem
Date:Sep 1, 2014
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