Home > New Classics > La Guadalupe de Juan Diego

La Guadalupe de Juan Diego

August 7, 2010

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

after Tepeyac

In the way of saints, disproportionate—
clay-colored skins, icon haloed in flames

of indigenous red-gold, the woman
wears a veil of stars on a Mexican-blue sky,

its underside like rare grass, her robe spun
cotton of red roses, and the man sprouts

green wings, arms emulating the native
moon, his hands clutching her gathering hem.

He is only half a man, with no need
for anything below waist to hold her.

Her eyes look aside, as if she’s ashamed
of religion’s power, but so seems he, his vision

cast on earth below, his head bowed down,
bearing her above their up-cupped crescent.


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Katherine Durham Oldmixon (website) recently edited a special issue of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review dedicated to ekphrastic poetry. Her chapbook Water Signs, a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Award, was released in January 2009 by Finishing Line Press. Katherine lives healthily and happily in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Arturo Lomas Garza.

  1. August 7, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I love the rootedness of your work, it has such a strong sense of place, and this is wonderfully visual too.

    La Guadalupe’s feast day is, I think, on my birthday. Shortly after which last year I went to the send-off party of a dear young student and friend who was going to spend a year in Mexico. Her tiny Breton cousin was there, who, by chance – her parents simply liked the sound of the name and knew nothing of its associations – was called Lupita. Serendipity reigns!

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