Plectrum

There are songs my mother
            will not sing, nor listen to again
because they remind her of the war; 

how, among rows of men lined up against
            a masonry wall, one closed his eyes
and lifted his voice before the order

to fire was issued. It was in a town
           bordered with rice fields, where palm
crosses and braids of garlic shuddered 

in the windows. At night or coming back
           from a funeral, you might hear the voice
of the fourteen-stringed bandurria.  

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