They say the king of the indigenous people’s one duty now is to pretend he does not speak Spanish, that it is possible to get along with only his own language. Home Creek is how English-speaking West Indian settlers knew the place we lived. But Spanish-speaking officials wrote Hone Creek. The word hone as a mistake—it’s not so strange considering inaccuracy is what is refined, trying to hold an impression over time. The name Home wasn’t saved in any written record. So there is no way to go back. When I was a baby, before I could try to speak, native women swam the creek, covering only their breasts because, they said, they were born with the other parts (the ones we might call private). The breasts are an embarrassment because they change over time. And how I have grown— But no more articulate. Babies parted from mothers speak well enough of the need for the known with their first cries. And the want to be understood—it has been stated by the silence of elders, and the willful, the wistful, mapmakers’ errors.
Rose McLarney | Aloof Above Contents | Mudlark No. 51 (2013)