Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pinched (ex voto to Frida)

being told her
right leg would have to be
amputated, Frida Kahlo
sat up

"feet, why do I
need you? If I paint wings, 
I can fly." Thus, every loss lifts
her up.

Not so,
you. Heartsick, your
humerus fractured, you
rage against the night, suffer her
wild love. 

An ex voto is a devotion, an offering to a saint or local god, given in gratitude for healing or deliverance from adversity, or because a sufferer seeks grace.  (Ex voto is a shorted version of the Latin phrase, ex voto suscepto, "meaning "from the vow made.") Some ex votos consist of tiny stamped tin charms in the form of an arm or a leg or a heart--indicating the body part or attribute to be or that has been healed.  Other offerings might include small paintings with an illustration of the affliction, and a legend explaining what has  happened. In Mexico, such ex votos are often painted on small crudely cut out rectangles of tin. Frida Kahlo both collected and painted works that drew upon this vernacular tradition.  Here, Frida is the saint to whom I make this offering for a friend in agony.  Can she help? I am not sure...

Cinquains, again.

Photos were taken in Mexico. Of course. And this entry blogged from a laundromat in Canoe Cove, on Vancouver Island.

1 comment:

  1. Finally a minute to read your last poems--the ones I missed. Thank you for the ex voto; Saint Frida, however, would pronounce me a wuss. It's Saint Tina (Modotti)--photographer and revolutionar--who might intercede. Funny, though bec. the other day I entered a store full of artsy things made by local artisans and saw necklaces made of these primitive tin offerings: hearts, lungs, a brain... No arms, though. Still hesitating between the heart and the brain! xx, T.