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Tag Archives: Memories

Lessons I Learned at Home: Prompt 2 “Resilience”

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“Resilience”

Dear Mommie

I miss you

Wish you could be here

To hold me

Talk to me

Let me sit on your lap

Well, lie across it

And cry

While you gently caress my face

I miss your sweet touch

Its magic

Sometimes I want to scream

Instead I pray constantly

Knowing you and God hear

My every word

Even the unspoken ones

That seem to live on the edge

Of my lips

Thank you for reminding me

Through memories

That you loved everyone

No judgements

No exclusions

Thank you for reminding me

When I look at your picture

That a smile can cure sadness

Thank you for teaching me

Resilience

And how obstacles are opportunities

And how struggles develop strength

And how love lives after loss

Pieces of Peace #21

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Whenever I teach my students

how to write “Where I’m From” poems

I crave the past,

popsicles and Christmas tree flocking

falling on presents Mommie promised

I crave Nana’s baking

her back aching

and her cigarette scented hugs.

I peek into poetic memories

of young writers now college scholars

and I read.

I read Where I’m From poems

from 2002 and 2004

Precious people whose paths and mine

crossed

and tangled footprints in sand

eventually blew with wind and tears

back to my heart

where I protect the peace

in each piece I read.

I find my poem from 2008

When I was from making enchiladas

and summers in swimming pools

But I sense some missing peace

in my piece.

I don’t read that aloud

but it still shouts and makes my skin sweat.

Instead I listen

to what my class is writing

in a 15-minute warm-up.

Every voice is valued.

I praise one for its musical memories

Another for its vivid visuals of family traditions

But when I hear rich rhymes

and unexpected innocence

about loving frogs and butterflies

from the kid who never tries

I saw his light shining from trickster eyes.

I’m from never giving up

just keep writing

you’re on this one

and poems have power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prose Challenge Inspired by The House on Mango Street

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Time to write prose. Sandra Cisneros’, The House on Mango Street, inspires this challenge.

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The Real House

I didn’t always live on Weybridge, Don Tomaso, Canterbury, Nordhoff, or Citrus. Before that, I lived on Don Felipe, Mommie’s street. Before that, in a small house next door to my grandmother’s house on 4th Avenue. That house, I don’t remember. I had less than two years of life there. I remember our house on Mommie’s street because that’s where we made the best memories.

The house on Mommie’s street was home. Where childhood was forever, family love unconditional. I didn’t have to pay bills or change diapers, and no babies depended on me. I was the baby. I did my homework at the kitchen table while Mommie made burgers. Piano banging interrupted quiet evenings at home.

I left our house on Mommie’s street because it was my turn to go. Go somewhere to begin my own life, my own family, make my own memories. I lived in a shoebox-size dorm before a series of apartments. When I wanted some place to call mine, a real house, I moved to Weybridge, half the size of The Real House filling my imagination. The house I believed would be mine had levels, gardens, walk-in closets, and a large private pool next to a bubbling waterfall. It didn’t have a cloudy pool all my neighbors abused with their spit and germs floating in it. It didn’t have a gated entry and rusty lounges smudged with dirty stickiness.

The Real House would easily accommodate family visitors or out-of-town guests. They would not have to sleep in hotels around the airport and UBER their way through the city. Its bedrooms cozied us, the kitchen kept us, and the landscape loved us.

The Real House is on a grassy hill overlooking my old house on Weybridge, Mommie’s house on Don Felipe, and the clatter of crowded urban chaos. It overlooks walls decorated in graffiti and garbage-stained sidewalks.  The Real House crowns a quiet street that winds. Winds up to serenity, to neighbors who love one another and share baked cakes and pies when it isn’t a holiday. Winds up to gardeners who carefully tend to our gardens more than their own; who speak and smile because we speak and smile first. Winds up to walking trails, meditation fountains, and peaceful prayer paths.

The Real House is there when my eyes are closed. But it hasn’t shown itself to me yet, when my eyes are open.

Tanka #21 Dead-End Dream

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Memories that hurt

need to be dropped in cement

as it pours and dries

Or injected in road kill

dead flesh I would drive over

Tanka #9 Soul Shades

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the color of paint

attaches to memories

stains the soul’s canvas

until a new artist strokes

tints and shades of beautiful

Tanka #1 Family Photos

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sticky page unsticks

family photos sliding down

memories in books

life paints still pictures again

colors fade like lovers do