“Sweet by” Jordan Vilchez
(The following poem describes what I felt seeing the photos 30 years later. And the memories of Jonestown that came flooding into my present moment.)
Howler monkeys in the night
In the dead of night
Sweet jungle…,mmm. Ahhh…… –No.
Up early, boots on, bandana, cutlass,
Tiny banana and peanut-butter-and honey sandwich tied to my hip
Hard work, proud laborer,
Finally living the dream.
On the back of the truck, riding out to the field, rocking back and forth bobbing through the crater potholes, beautiful jungle all around.
More dreams still of the Chilean I loved and longed to be with. We had marched around the International Hotel, arm in arm. He was a refugee that visited in San Francisco.
Laura and I were translators, we knew Spanish. –A door to the outside world.
Uh-oh, love Not Allowed. He’s not a member. …, besides, “what’s a good dedicated girl like you doing falling in love” –wrong!. ………riding along in the truck, on our way to the fields, swaying and bobbing into the potholes…...switch, ….Earth Wind and Fire songs, now going through my head.
“That’s the way, of the world” ….. “Reasons”, …….“Get Away” –Hmmm…...
What innocence, what sweetness what and purity, ……What beauty, radiating in my heart,
Dreams, & hopes, shine through a suspended self, searching, accepting this place where I have been taken. –The space I now occupy.
Life is hopeless out there in the world. I am where I am supposed to be.
Standing ready, …..giving, …..trusting, …..believing
(Jordan Vilchez is a frequent contributor to the jonestown report. A second piece in this edition is Returning to Jonestown. Her previous writings appear here. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)