The Procession
by Edelma D’Trinidad

The little girl’s angel wings are not moving.
She wants to fly to find her parents,
newly aware that they are alive.
Balanced on a float, with papier-mâché saints,
the Virgin Mary, the orphans with whom she’d been raised,
she scans the faces of parade-goers, wondering
If she can recognize them in the multitude,
If they still live in this town,
If they can recognize her,
If they will want her.
She speaks to her wings,
ordering them to carry her to her parents,
but the wings resist.
The molting feathers of agitation and sadness
rain down on her through the warm afternoon,
while the procession continues to the cathedral,
marchers carrying their grand candles,
singing hymns of praise

PHOTOGRAPH: The author in Nicaragua at age seven on the day of her First Communion.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Edelma D’Trinidad is an optimistic dreamer living in Southern California. Born in Nicaragua, she was raised by a group of nuns in the rain forest from age two to seven, in a time of the country’s political upheaval. Her poem “The Procession” arose from memories of early childhood, and of the loving and courageous nuns who fostered the development of a little girl’s self-worth, love, and ultimate survival.