local_library Prayer to La Virgen

by CE Chaffin

Published in Issue No. 158 ~ July, 2010

La Virgen de Guadalupe’s chintzy frame,
gold tinsel nuggeted with colored lights,
flashes in concert with the cricket outside.

Las Vegas lives too much in Mexico;
I should be accustomed to the glitz.
The people here are poor, the light is rich

and yet this cheezy, plastic abomination
(as if we must re-decorate creation,
send current to the stars, postmark our prayers

with giant stamps of Kennedy from Yemen)
is too much for one brought up Lutheran.
Pray for me, Virgen de Guadalupe,

pray I may understand the body electric
of your cheap Chinese-manufactured light–
though I was thinking how many Virgins here

and rarely an illuminated Christ.
The Son eclipsed by some maternal right?
Yet when the whole family went to fetch him,

thinking he’d lost his ever-loving mind,
he insisted on the resurrection
and only Mary went to see him climb.

Funny how at the end, friends, kin desert us,
not meaning to offend or even hurt us;
it’s blatant suffering that drives them from us

unless some wealthy stranger overcome us
and lay us in a grave prepared for him.
It’s unexpected light I love, Virgen.

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C.E. Chaffin is a SoCal native and attended UCLA. His poetry collection, "Unexpected Light" [http://www.cechaffin.com/light.html] is available through booksellers everywhere. He's been widely published on the web and in print.

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