Archive for the ‘“Hannah Donovan’s Great Granddaughter Makes Tamales”’ Category

Hannah Donovan’s Great Granddaughter Makes Tamales

By Barbara Sweeney

To soften them,
she soaks corn husks
in the bathtub overnight.
She grinds chilies to a brilliant paste
to fold with meat and masa
into pale yellow packages
tied with tiny husk bows.
She stacks them in her Saturday pot
like rows of Spanish prayers
to the Sunday Virgin.

On a bleached coast
halfway around the world from Dublin,
her kitchen steams with maize, warms
her daughters, their hair
the color of corn.
Appeared in The Arroyo Arts Council
“Poetry in the Windows”
May, 2003