Thursday, September 16, 2010

To the Gauchas of Salta Argentina

My sisters of Salta I know nothing of you,
But still I can see you sitting straight in your saddles
Cradled in sheepskin with black and red ponchos
Sweeping behind you beneath flat, jaunty hats.

They write that your country,
Brutal breast of the Andes rises out of the Pampas
in north Argentina. And they write that you fought
Fierce for your freedom, that you rode hot and wild
Along side of your gauchos in the war against Spain.

If I could but see you in your low, green montanas
On vast, lonesome estancias around caballos and vacas
Maybe feel...of your homemade riatas
I know that we would find much to speak of--

Like the prices of cattle, and the vagaries of lovers,
And how is it you make a criollo pingo
Spin light like a top, and turn on the length of a hide.

I would show you my King rope,
My pictures of children, we would talk about cooking,
About handling livestock, the best ways to gather
In brushy cow country, the places we've seen--
And speak of the merits of breeds
Of good horses and cows.

There are no gauchas they say, except for in Salta
Where horsewomen ride with pride and with flare.

 sisters of Salta
          We have much to speak of.

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