Three small ships, that first of the year,
bear mapmakers from a distant shore,
weary men, painstaking work. Men suddenly
elated to come upon the mouth of a mighty river
ringed by mountains in the warm summer breeze,
River “discovered” in Janeiro and so christened.
Did anyone ask if the river had another name?
A true name, a name full of magic and power now lost
to those who do not hear. A different reality.
Guanabara — “arm of the sea,” forever a river
in name only.
This poem was written in response to the January 1, 2017 prompt from Miz Quickly.