National Geographic News
Charlotte Peters Rock
Charlotte Peters Rock

Chinchorro at the shore

He took our elder son

- who looks like him -

down to the shore

and I said Please

our son is young

but he said Yes

and he must learn

where fish are waiting

- and our son’s eyes shone

The waves were high

and they so fragile near the water

Our son was waving

as they walked below the hill

I saw the ocean heave

into the distant air

I knew the gods were angry

- my son so young

I shouted but they could not hear

My voice roaring out to warn

was like a sea bird in its nest

On came the heaving ocean

one wave much higher than the palms

and then my cry was silenced

as he and our son

- who looks like him -

were taken

Our daughter still prepares

the fish for their return

She didn’t understand my screams

How will I tell her

The ocean- from the gods’ displeasure

will strip their bones

of all their roundness

Her father - who could take the fish

build up our house of reed

and stroke her shining hair -

will never wear the blackened face

nor join my son

(Too young to die)

(Too old to die an infant)

straight-sleeping in the sand

his bones packed out with earth

And I can’t weave the mourning reed

to wrap around the son I bore

the man who warmed my body

Anti Playdead
Anti Playdead

if i ever go to Chile and meet one of these grannies it would be killer


The Future of Food

  • Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

    Why Food Matters

    How do we feed nine billion people by 2050, and how do we do so sustainably?

See blogs, stories, and news » »