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Latinx Salud Poems:  An Inaugural Collection

Hands

Falling down, heavily and clumsily into the chair,
The weight of my body, of endless responsibilities;
My mother’s voice chastising me for not sitting properly.


You don’t work?
Maybe she is referring to my wedding ring.
An uncomfortable laugh.
Yes, I work.
She. Had. No. Idea.
You don’t cook?
Offended.
I cook, but I don’t do dishes. He does.
Kids?
Thickness in my throat, I gave my prepared answer—we are waiting on God.


This is supposed to be “me time.”


It’s my hands.
They are too soft.
She doesn’t understand we are more similar than different.
Work in her world is physical, not intellectual.
I understand.
And yet, waves of emotions wash over me.
Pride and guilt in one breath.


I want her to know my story.


Generations and sacrifices afforded,
I was molded like warm masa in my Nana’s hands.
Recipient of amor, courage and prayers.


No, my hands were not stretched taut like leather,
dry and cracked like the parched tierra.
Those were the hands of my Tata,
who worked in fields and harvested dreams.

March 2019




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