Eulogy to Efrain Jara Idrovo (1926-2018) Ecuador’s Poet Laureate #24

 

Feet shuffling, shrunken spine

he greeted me with outstretched arms,

Efrain Jara Idrovo, beloved poet of Ecuador.

His eyes reflected an ocean of love

beauty and sadness weaving

over and under unexpected illusions.

 

He asked me to read his poem

“Sollozo por pedro jara”

~ weeping for his son Pedro Jara ~

“Pedroagelessrock made to endure

Pedrolaughterofrock

Pedro made of basalt”

But the stone cracked

Pedro hung himself in the bathroom.

 

After the suicide Efrain leaned forward

a lone horseman over a bare horse

his itchy wool blanket unraveled

the roads Pedro had traveled

Gently probing, words crying

he searched Pedro’s bones of rock

translucent, porcelain, his polished son.

 

He cut across a bridge of crystal

through precipices looking for stars

with veins that hurt from too much effort

Like a leaf cutter ant, Atta cephalotes,

he slowly carried each piece of Pedro

back to his soul and chewed it

delicately into his fragile heart.

 

He dug into yawning clefts

where half-baked clay caked

and could not be washed away.

Efrain’s words, full of tears

streamed down my face, full of love

streamed into my heart

burned flowers on my breath

in one deafening blow.

How will I survive this old man’s smile?

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