Apolonia the midwife took me to a hovel
roofed with yagua, the base of the palm frond.
A squat woman nodded Yes,
I could meet her children.
They lay splayed on long benches:
another blind and crippled,
the last spinning a coconut.
His head bobbed up and down,
his smile never changing
as he watched the coconut wobble to a stop,
then spun it again on endless repeat.
I tried to speak to him.
“These are the fruits of this tree,”
said Apolonia, tugging me gently away.
“You mistake movement for intelligence.”
“You might as well talk to a palm,”
Apolonia shook her graying head.
“Its fronds wave in the same wind
whether you’re speaking or silent.”