“Problems with Hurricanes” by Victor Hernández Cruz (repost)

A campesino looked at the air
And told me:
With hurricanes it’s not the wind
or the noise or the water.
I’ll tell you he said:
it’s the mangoes, avocados
Green plantains and bananas
flying into town like projectiles.

How would your family
feel if they had to tell
The generations that you
got killed by a flying

Death by drowning has honor
If the wind picked you up
and slammed you
Against a mountain boulder
This would not carry shame
to suffer a mango smashing
Your skull
or a plantain hitting your
Temple at 70 miles per hour
is the ultimate disgrace.

The campesino takes off his hat—
As a sign of respect
toward the fury of the wind
And says:
Don’t worry about the noise
Don’t worry about the water
Don’t worry about the wind—
If you are going out
beware of mangoes
And all such beautiful
sweet things.

From Maraca: New and Selected Poems 1965-2000 by Victor Hernández Cruz. Copyright © 2001 by Victor Hernández Cruz. Published by Coffee House Press

Cruz reads his poem in the above embedded video. Click HERE to view on YouTube.


* Originally shared Jan. 17, 2015. A double post today for those of you affected by Harvey. Be well. Beware of mangoes. My thoughts and prayers follow you. -christy

One thought on ““Problems with Hurricanes” by Victor Hernández Cruz (repost)

  1. I love this so much. It reminds me of the stories (and eye witnessing) of flying cows and projectile wheat stalks (tornadoes) – something that feels humorous, but it so tragic and beautiful at once…not unlike love ❤️


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