Santiago 2013

Santiago 2013

in Parque Forestal,
remembering a Chilean naval vessel in
Auckland Harbour, mid-1980s

Esmerelda, slender-waisted
one, may the great tongue
of the Pacific forever

mispronounce your name.
Strolling down this bitter avenue
of lemons and pisco

and fighter planes, O
bony mistress of the dictatorship
the nation’s poor will inherit

your scattered body, your
divided family. May
the legless veteran begging

on Avenue Santa Maria
his wheelchair marooned
in six lanes of traffic

thrive and prosper
like the good nation of Chile
and never be run down.

Gregory O'Brien

from citizen of Santiago