Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sweeping after Having Remembered Mi Abuela 

At the sink, the talavera
has clanked, broken water, and
chipped so that I must hide it, while 
noiselessly, you sit,
paint splat across an elbow, the
10 o’clock news rattling on and on
about armed robbery and wrecks-- 
the pit bull curled like a
rattlesnake at your boot.  

There was a time when
we were in Mexico, and I’d packed
our plates and the bowls I 
promised to purchase each trip we
made;  when we moved to
this house I never wanted,
these plates stayed put away,
same newsprint wrapping, 
same cardboard box, 
same thing that happened, 
I sometimes fear, 
to the knuckles we once called my heart.

In the bed, you sleep.  The dogs
snore and sigh.  A pillow
covering your face from the 
whisk of the broom I run over the
hickory floors you laid last winter.  
Te vas a casar con una viuda.  
You will marry a widow, I recall my Indian
abuela stutter as she pushed
a bundle of yellow straw 
over my unprotected feet 
when she would come to the States
to visit us and get money
for those of us who stayed behind.
Ironically, it is you who married
the widower.

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