For Children

Raana Thacker

Las Fallas

5th & 6th Grade Poetry Honorable Mention

I. La Creación

Hundreds of neighborhoods,
Getting together one by one,
Deciding on their sculpture,
Some three stories tall,
Others very small.
Parties to raise money.
All their sweat, blood, and tears,
Only to burn the sculpture in the end.
All this effort,
For nothing?

II. La Mascletá

People, people, everywhere,
Everywhere I see.
A warning.
That’s another one.
The loudest noises I’ve ever heard,
Like an orchestra,
Except with only the loudest instruments.
Red, Blue, Green, Yellow,
All the happy colors.
After two minutes,
It’s all over.
I then wonder,
Was this all just a party,
Or does this really mean something?

III. La Cremá

I walk around on the last day,
I sense something different in the air,
Is it sadness, happiness, or a combination of both?
Midnight approaches,
My family and I,
Walk down a narrow street to a neighborhood sculpture.
We are welcomed by its creators with open arms.
There is a considerable crowd.
Anticipation builds as people poke holes into the sculpture,
Finally, the Queen of the neighborhood lights the fire.
The fire envelopes the sculpture,
It burns and burns,
In the end,
The Paper Mache loses its futile battle with the flames.
Music plays in the background,
The national anthem also plays.
A tear rolls down someone’s cheek,
The statue is reduced to ashes.
Was all the effort for nothing?

IV. Respuestas

Valencia is normal again.
Thoughts morph into meaning as I stare at photographs from the
night before,
Perhaps memories are the only things that last.
The gift Valencia has given us,
Is its willingness to let go of things,
That creates room for new people, things, and memories.
On my last day,
My mother points out the souvenir shop I had wanted to go to.
Five minutes later I’m in the souvenir shop,
I think to myself,
I’m not ready to let go of that just yet,
Am I?