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BLUE BRACELETS

For so long we wanted to model dresses in Abuela’s shop. To be pretty girls with such pretty costumes, exotic as jungle flowers, with reassuring touches. But now our friends, our boyfriends, will see us. I think she is going to cry. We all want blue bracelets.

Abend Gallery is publishing a book of the images and verse from Cuba An Adventure in Image and Word. Should be out in about a month.

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DOS ABUELAS

We are drawn in through a window or the frame of a painting, by reflections and tones, surfaces and textures, Dos Abuelas competing since they were chicas for dolls and babies, and our attentions.

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RAWN LINEN

Some thought it cheeky, but others endearing, two women wearing the same thing, with one arm pulling close a shoulder, the sides of their touching hips swooshing as they walk barefoot along the beach, ponytails skipping behind like ecstatic puppies. Soft as a cool summer pillow, or grating like the canvas of a palm used to work, the sensuousness of Raw Linen.

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TERRACED TOBACCO

It’s been a long road. Each terrace is a milestone, a relief to my thighs, my back, an artificial landscape that’s been here so long even the island accepts it as natural. Row after row, sweet smell of tobacco drying in the sun, hemmed in by prickly bushes that tear my thin trousers. It helps to imagine the road as a fast flowing river, blue with little white caps carrying me along. I feel at home detouring up and down the rows, trickling like irrigation ditches that come and go with the barely perceptible seasons. I want to stop at the white roofed buildings, see if they might have something for me; to eat, a place to lay my head, maybe forever. It might be better than anything over the hill.

Peggy painted over Terraced Tobacco, it no longer exists. I felt compelled to post it because the verse the painting inspired, its blue road, the long white roofs, the horizon over the hill, speaks to me, puts me walking through my vines and lateral acequia ditches in Taos, always on a journey, even when at home.

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DAILY ROUTINE

She’s a faithful old girl, yawning for the dentist, with a Bondo facelift and dentures fashioned out of parts from broken down Soviet refrigerators. On every street clubs of men tinker with their cars. Artists make brake pads and solenoids in their living rooms. The hood comes down. A puff of blue smoke, and like magic she smiles and runs smooth as factory new.

From Cuba, An Adventure in Image and Word, Paintings by Peggy McGivern and verst by Peter Stravlo, Abend Gallery, Denver