by Emily delaCruz.
Cantillo’s "Origin Song" sings the tenderness and fear of pregnancy. The pinto bean in her mother’s fleshy pit doesn’t see the world, instead she experiences it through the music of her mother’s life: green beans snapping, a broom grating, the soft cluck of hens. But when the poem turns on the soft thud of a rotten mango, hidden fears are revealed in a lawnmower choking and the syrupy singing of a drunk man. The triumph of this poem unfolds in its final lines where we meet the mother locked in prayer that transfers to her daughter. Cantillo’s subtle intertwining of hope and fear against the musical backdrop of life is masterful in "Origin Song". This is a poem that lulls then bites, leaving an echo.
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