On the Preserved Body of an Inca Child Frozen to Death as a Sacrifice to the Sun

Original Text: 
Between the Root and the Flower (White Rock, BC: Blackfish Press, 1982): 33. PS 8576 .074 B4 Robarts Library
2all your cut hairs from the ground,
3the parings of your nails,
4so that, dead, in another world
5you do not have to go searching far
6for the parts of your body.
7And will you there be able to make again
8from these immature scraps,
9and from your frozen shell,
10the head that shaded, mouth that spoke to,
11hands that played with this silver
12doll of the goddess, these flocks
13of small gold cattle? If elsewhere
14your strong fingers assemble the pieces
15or if here the empty form
16of your body, more real than the ice
17that for centuries treasured up its flesh,
18walks through us, still the sun's light
19which makes us its instruments
20can't find you. The sun
21for whom you were staked in the snow
22only fills the places empty of you,
23making us see what is done
24in his own false name
25to the poor tongues of his fire.


1] The El Plomo boy, one of the ."capa cocha children.": discovered in 1954 on El Plomo mountaintop in Chile, was adorned with jewelry, finely clothed, and equipped with small bags that held his baby teeth and nail clippings. His body now rests in a museum in Chile. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Albert Frank Moritz or the Blackfish Press permissions department.</b>