Monday, October 18, 2021

This Article Is about the Argentine Republic

We know more now, too much more.
In 1976
An eighth-grade thirteen-year old

In suburban New Jersey
Was assigned geography
Homework on Argentina

And did what kids did back then—
Go to the library or
Some encyclopedia,

Nearly out of date, someone
Years gone conned your folks into
Buying on a subscription.

Haul the volume containing
Argentina from the shelf.
Find the entry. Start reading

And copying out by hand
The sorts of information
Your homework has demanded.

You’ll get a couple pages
In your own bad penmanship
And earn another good grade.

You won’t expect to recall
Any of it. You don’t think
Perons will stick in the mind,

That you’ll feel an insider
Thrill when you see the first ads
For the Broadway musical

Evita, that you’ll pick up
Borges because the jacket
Bears the word, Argentina,

That you’ll feel slightly sickened
To find out, years and years late,
How Peronism ended,

How the junta came to power
And the Dirty War began,
That, even after decades,

You’ll perk up when a colleague
Turns out Argentinian,
That you’ll daydream of moving,

Rarely, but now and again,
Down to Argentina, that
You’ll feel some weird ownership

Because you wrote that homework,
Or that you’ll go the whole way
Round the Southern Hemisphere

To see the seasons reversed,
Watch Orion’s handstand, but
Not visit Argentina.

A child young enough to be
That ‘70s child’s grandchild
Checks with Wikipedia.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.