Año Viejo – A Poem for New Year’s Eve

31 Dec

Año Viejo

In Guayaquil, in December,
the old year is a dying man,
face painted on a paper-mâché head,

dressed in yesterday’s clothes,
stuffed with newsprint emblazoned
with headlines from the past year.

His widows— we cry for him on the corners
taking up a collection for his funeral.
We spend it on fireworks

to stuff down his shirt
so he burns bright when we light
him on fire, minutes before midnight.

But first, his last will and testament is read
bequeathing blessings for the year ahead.
His final countdown explodes

in the middle of every street
and the city is a battlefield, ablaze,
the new year brought forth through the haze.

Our eyes full of smoke
we raise a champagne toast: we embrace
in silence and watch our old man burn.

by Lupita Eyde-Tucker.

“Año Viejo” was first published in Naugatuck River Review, Issue 18, Fall 2017, and was nominated for a  Pushcart Prize.

AÑOVIEJO PASTOREVEILLON2
Etienne Le Cocq [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Please let me know what you think of this poem. I love comments!

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