Pat Mora | Poetry All-Stars

Pat Mora
(1942 -    )

Pat Mora is a writer of numerous children's books of poetry and prose. Mora is a native of El Paso, Texas and her work often features local interests, such as her family, the Mexican-American culture, and the desert. Mora's work has also won several awards and includes many well-known books such as A Birthday Basket for Tia, Tomas and the Library Lady, and My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults.


From "Curandera"

A curandera is a traditional healer in Mexico.
She wakes early, lights candles before
her sacred statues, brews tea of hierbabuena.
She moves down her porch steps, rubs
cool morning sand into her hands, into her arms,
Like a large black bird, she feeds on 
the desert, gathering herbs for her basket.

Her days are slow, days of grinding
dried snake into powder, of crushing
wild bees to mix with white wine.
And the townspeople come, hoping
to be touched by her ointments,
her hands, her prayers, her eyes.
She listens to their stories, and she listens 
to the desert, always the desert.

Hierbabuena is an herb from Mexico.

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