Framboyan by Danielle de Corcho

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

I don’t know how to say
Framboyan in English 

Translating tropical plants
Is a herculean task

Much like transplanting life
The sea an unspeakable barrier

That is crossed all the same
Claiming lives by the thousands

Rafts torn apart
Families dangling by threads 

Hung out to dry
Shouting across borders for years 

The empty sounds echoing
For more than a decade for you

And when you finally returned
You were as giddy as a child

Pointing out the framboyan
Starkly red against the mountainous green 

Delicate branches holding thousands
Millions of blossoms 

All day, you beamed
Bathing in the sun and the sounds 

All night you were tormented
Until I saw you in the kitchen 

I dreamt of her, you said
In front of me as clear as you are now

I ran towards her, I yelled for her
She just shook her head

She couldn’t speak
He said, eyes as red

as framboyan

Photo of Danielle de Corcho

Photo of Danielle de Corcho

Danielle de Corcho writes poetry and creative nonfiction and teaches English as a Second Language at Southeastern Louisiana University. She also trains bilingual teachers to work as interpreters in school settings through Loyola University New Orleans’s Interpreting and Translation Studies program in an effort to improve language access for limited English proficient families in the K-12 education system across Louisiana. She lives just outside of New Orleans with her family.