The Battle of Puebla

This day starts like any other as if
not knowing what transpired this
triumphant, historical day in May. Is
the victory over France ours or your(s)?
Why do you celebrate as if it’s your birthday?
You Americans will take any excuse to party and
carry on. This is not even a holiday for us; you
don’t take a moment to consider what are
our thoughts. The Battle of Puebla left many dead,
but we are thankful that we prevailed.  Do
you want to rejoice with us? Then join as we
observe our independence in September and stay
by our side in honor of the voices that went silent
throughout our history to bring us freedom . As
we mark that date with festivals, we entertain the
gatherings in joy and a sheet
gently spreads over us with gratitude.  You
are invited to share as we remember those who died
so that we now live in liberty, and out from under.

Click here to see where my inspiration came from for the prompt today:  PBS’s Weekly Poem for May 7, 2012 by Naomi Shihab Nye “Cinco de Mayo”

De is our host at dVerse’s Meeting the Bar and shares a poetic form called The Golden Shovel.  Come by and see her instructions on this interesting prompt!

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44 Comments

  1. I wonder how many of us really grasp what Cinco de Mayo is really all about. Sadly, not many I suspect.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. I did read about it.. And that it means something beyond a party… I just googled it today and yes it’s a victory to celebrate, but it’s a day to mourn the dead.

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  3. Gayle, this is simply STUNNING. Your message, the line you chose. One of my favorite things about the Golden Shovel is reading that right margin to find the original line. Yours stopped me in my tracks. And then the poem…WOW.

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    • Thank you, De, high praise coming from you! I love reading down that right margin too…in fact I found myself reading that first. I’m so pleased that you liked my poem…wow.

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  4. Glenn Buttkus

     /  May 5, 2016

    Very clever & insightful; terrific use of the form, & as De said, in your case you doubled our pleasure. I attempted that too, but ended up rambling a bit.

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  5. Great writing, yes, I agree. But it has prompted me to make a decision. I think I’m going to start keeping a file on each time something that I relate to being is lumped into a derogatory comment – such as a woman, a Christian, or an American, to name a few. It is becoming apparent to me that I have been ignorant to a large degree of the person I am presumed to be because I am one of these three, again – to name a few.

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    • Thank you for your comment and compliment although I believe your time may be better spent if you kept a file on all the positive comments made on those things that you identify with. Why increase your negative feelings by mulling over comments that make you unhappy?

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  6. So nice to see you talking about this specific day in history… and especially the idea of how much is lost to memory…

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  7. Very striking, and the end line words are stunning.

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  8. Excellent! I enjoyed the way you wrote in response to Cinco de Mayo. We have to remember the reason behind these days!

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    • Thanks, Mary. I’ve never celebrated it but when I looked it up to see what it was about the article mentioned the fact that Americans in particular really took to the “holiday” with lots of partying. Most have no idea I’m sure of the story behind it.

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  9. So clever to use the words to create this poem in honour of the voices that went silent.

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  10. I agree, this is absolutely stunning execution of the form 🙂

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  11. This explains it so well. The news was all about Cinco de Mayo this morning, and I had to look it up. I did think it was Mexico’s Independence Day. Thank you for this.

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    • I really didn’t know what it was myself until I looked it up to write my poem. I was surprised to learn that most Mexicans consider it a minor holiday. And thank you too, Barbara. 🙂

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  12. Yes, Americans will use any excuse to have a party, or in this case to drink tequila. The Mexican restaurants in the US love Cinco de Mayo as well because they get a boost in sales. Very nice take on the prompt with a good message for the day.

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    • Thank you, Linda, yes, I’m sure it boosts alcohol sales. I’m glad I learned what it was although I’ve never celebrated it myself.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  13. A needed smack on the wrist. Great job with the message and with the chosen lines.

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  14. Oh how you brought truth to us. Even the several Mexican families I know are all about the party. Like July 4, we have forgotten the true meaning of that. I am humbled by the truth behind Cinco de Mayo and the sacrifice. your poem lays it all out and spares us nothing.

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    • Well, the article I read about it talked about it really being a minor “holiday” to most Mexican’s and not the big deal that it’s become. Their independence day is much more of a celebratory day for them.

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  15. You tell the history well. There is much that we have taken up as ritual without ever understanding the origins.

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  16. I read down the last words first and had to stop a moment. And then to read your poem – wow. I suspect there are many “holidays” that are “celebrated” with days off from work, happy picnics etc by many when, in reality, the original purpose of the day was to mourn the dead – or perhaps we choose to celebrate their lives and their cause? This was a timely piece, thoughtful and thought provoking.

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    • I really think that most of the ones “celebrating” have no clue as to what or whom they’re celebrating. I would be interested to know for sure though. Thanks, Lillian.

      Liked by 1 person

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      • Well….I will fess up. I was not really aware of the originations of Cinco de Mayo. I am now and am thankful I now know.

        Liked by 1 person

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  17. This is a powerful presentation of Mexican history. Your poem is thought-provoking, though my best friend’s family is from the state of Puebla, and she tells me they do celebrate the Cinco de Mayo Mexican victory there.

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    • Thank you, Patti. I think the celebrating by Americans of Cinco de Mayo is out of proportion to the minor holiday that I understood it to be when I read up on it. I didn’t know what it was having never celebrated it myself or read about it either. I’m glad I did.

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  18. Most holidays are memores of those who died for some kind of freedom. Though 911 isn’t a holiday they gather to remember the fallen. I guess sowe won’t forget.

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    • Some are, that’s true. Our Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day are celebrated respectfully and seriously not usually with drunken parties. I guess that’s the point I was trying to make. Thanks, Kim.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  19. You are invited to share as we remember those who died
    so that we now live in liberty, and out from under.

    Forget what had happened. Instead, we rejoice on the good things that come our way for to be at peace is a tolerable choice! Very true Gayle!

    Hank

    Like

    Reply
  20. You are invited to share as we remember those who died
    so that we now live in liberty, and out from under.

    Forget what had happened. Instead, we rejoice on the good things that come our way for to be at peace is a tolerable choice! Very true Gayle!

    Hank

    Like

    Reply
  21. Oooh, yes — excellent! You built on the inspiration piece beautifully.

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  22. What? Cinco de Mayo isn’t an American holiday we celebrate for the Mexicans? 😉 What? The world doesn’t revolve around America, food, and alcohol? All this truth makes a lot of people’s heads hurt (or is it the tequila they had way too much of?)! Great poem, message, and post, Gayle!

    Like

    Reply

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