Rodrigo

Rodrigo On October 12th, a sailor called Rodrigo saw the early morning moon shining on white sands, and

cried out. . . . The first man to sight land was supposed to get a pension of 10,000 Maravedis for life, but Rodrigo never got it. Columbus claimed he had seen a light the evening before. He got the reward.

What ten thousand Maravedis even once might might meant But I have lived have lain among my gently swaying bunkmates a mango on a richly laden tree have prayed for water and been given water I know more than he about men and the length of the sea Boweevil bread and labour under the lash since ten . . . eleven women less frequent than hurricanes no surprise death comes so soon so toothless in Madrid Some nights it was possible to walk back unbent a mother’s son among the stars Abiding stars whose spaces pried my ribs apart I call on you Did I not see the moonlight lay its face upon that breast of sand? The begger drags his dead leg down the alley I did not cry out at once but paused a moment to count

what I would have for that moment only > a wife a house a grove a son whose hand I’d guide along a row daughters bringing figs figs and wine Is it the dead leg scrapes so or my breath? Thirty-three days at sea Dawn saw them swimming out to greet us from sand white as an altar cloth before the blood of ( here’s home death )of his discovery soaked it through

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful