Saturday, April 09, 2005

PARA MIS ABUELOS (2003)

my grandfather would wake me
and i'd see his hand
mud from dark deserts
against my chest
pushing and beckoning me
into another day

and i would complain
quietly
in the most secret
places of my mind
and heart

not just complain
but curse the day

not knowing
the anger that consumed me
anger that lived in deep secret places

of my mind, buried in my heart
anger at my grandfather's son,
my father

for leaving me
without a clue
about my next meal
about my next bed
about my next home

for taking me
to the liquor store
and sharing his whiskey
when we were alone
to bars
places i swear
i will never take my children

and of course
i would obey

my grandfather's hand
because he fed me
gave me a room
a home where

my grandmother gifted me
with tortillas, coffee
salsa of chile pequin and garlic

gifts i swear i
will give to my children

but mostly
i obeyed because
although i didn't know it then
his desert mud hand

the one that had raised my father
that had topped onions
picked cucumbers
built homes out of old train cars
instructed me on the holiness

of roofing
carpentry
of hammering a nail

in two strokes
had invited me
to a life I did not know
and would have otherwise discarded.

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