Machu Picchu

The Missing
By Margarita Diaz

I didn’t take this picture.
I’ve never actually been there.
But it’s been with me since childhood . . .

It was my very first science fair project.
I was so proud to share a part of me.
Although I’d never been there.
It’s been in me.

They are the places I’ve seen
By closing my eyes
And hearing my father’s stories.

Not just Machu Picchu
But the mountains of Peru.

Why haven’t I been yet?
Different reasons
Throughout the days.
Different circumstances
That got in the way.

And along the way,
An attachment
To the longing over the planning.

A preference for the saudade.*

I dreamt of this place,
This part of me for so long,

I almost preferred
To keep it safe within me.

Not let it disappoint me.

It’s why the mountains call me.
And why I hear the whisper
When I’m near them,
Even thinking of them.

At least that’s what I believe.

One day I’ll go,
And I’ll miss the missing . . .

I just know.

*Saudade is a Portuguese term that captures a feeling of melancholy or longing for something that has passed, that we’ve lost, that has been unattainable or perhaps never even existed.

❓Have you ever felt you missed a place, even though you’ve never been?

❓Have you ever preferred the missing?

Leave a Reply