Page 1

Mother Tongue Idioma materno

POETRY, PROSE AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY MOTHERS AT

GUADALUPE HOME SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

GEMINI INK

THE LITERARY ARTS CENTER

1


2


Mother Tongue Idioma materno

POETRY, PROSE AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY MOTHERS AT GUADALUPE HOME SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GEMINI INK THE LITERARY ARTS CENTER

WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE GENERAL EDITOR NELLY ROSARIO ASSISTANT EDITORS REBECCA BREDT ERIKA MORGAN JUAN TEJEDA 3


Mother Tongue Idioma Materno © 2012 Gemini Ink Design: Nelly Rosario Layout: Anisa Onofre, Writers in Communities Director, Gemini Ink Sheila Black, Executive | Artistic Director, Gemini Ink This project was generously funded by the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation. Special thanks to Suzanne De León, Elly Ramsay, center staff, and Catholic Charities. Guadalupe Home provides a safe home and supportive services to homeless, expectant women with infants in an effort to increase their capability of having a healthy baby, to improve in their ability to care for themselves and their babies, and to foster their desire to make a positive contribution to their community. Writers in Communities sends professional writers into diverse community settings – shelters, schools, neighborhood centers, detention facilities – to work alongside students of all ages, needs, interests, and abilities. These workshops – always free to participants – focus on oral traditions, reading, and creative writing, and because we publish work by each student, represent for many their first acknowledged success with writing. Gemini Ink, San Antonio’s only independent non-profit literary center, nurtures writers and readers and builds community through literature and the related arts. The authors’ work is edited as lightly as possible in order to preserve the original voices.

513 S. Presa San Antonio, Texas 78205 877.734.9673 geminiink.org


Contents/Índice Foreword by Elly Ramsay, Guadalupe Home...v. Preface by Nelly Rosario, Writer-in-Residence...vi. Letters from San Antonio / Cartas desde San Antonio...1

Soniantonio—Sonia Marzo...3 Dear Father—Maximiana Daniels...4 Carta anónima para Juan / Anonymous Letter to Juan—Verónica Colunga...5 Sincerely, Angel—Angel Lace...6 Querido Papá—Verónica Colunga...7 Letters to My Parents—Mary Morales...9

We Need to Talk / Tenemos que hablar...11

Relationship in 21 Questions—Ashley Reed...13 Dialing the Right Numbers—Sonia Marzo...15 El secreto—Verónica Colunga...16 The Secret—Verónica Colunga...17 ¿Por qué? / Why?—Mary Morales...18 Why? How? Why? / ¿Por qué? ¿Cómo? ¿Por qué?—Sonia Marzo...18 A Political Face-Off—Jessica González...19 Soda and a Movie—Angel Lace...20 Haiku—Jessica González...22 Anti-Haiku—Ashley Reed...22 Voices in the Head / Voces en la cabeza—Mary Morales...22 Anti-Sonia—Sonia Marzo...23 Darn, Bunny!—Mary Morales...24

Once Upon a Time / Érase una vez...25

One Day at a Time / Un día a la vez—Mary Morales...26 La flor de deseos / The Flower of Desires—Verónica Colunga...27/28 No me gusta éste / I Don’t Like This One—Ashley Reed...29 Soy Ciudad Gotham / I Am Gotham City—Jessica González...30 The Ant / La hormiga—Verónica Colunga...31 Una mariposa / A Butterfly—Sonia Marzo...32 I Remember Us—Ashley Reed...33 Future Landscape—Sonia Marzo...35

All My Children / Tod@s mis hij@s...37

What Brayden Is Made Of / El contenido de Brayden—Maximiana Daniels...39 Three Haikus—Mary Morales...40 Mi bebé—Jessica González...40 Out of the Mouths of Babes—Ashley Reed...41 Mi parto fue aburrido—Ashley Reed...42 My Labor Was Boring—Ashley Reed...43

5


Golden Kiss / Beso dorado—Mary Morales...45 Love Recipes—Verónica Colunga...46 Recetas de amor—Verónica Colunga...47 El día en que por primera vez conocí a Saulito—Verónica Colunga...49 The Day I First Met Saulito—Verónica Colunga...50 Laboring Luke—Sonia Marzo...51 Luke is Made—Sonia Marzo...52 Miracle Alexis Morales—Mary Morales...53 Mi parto—Maximiana Daniels...54 My Labor—Maximiana Daniels...55 Waiting on My Valentine—Jessica González...56 Re-Joycing—Angel Lace...57 A Mother’s Love (excerpt)—Sonia Marzo...58

Love Lessons / Lecciones de amor...63

How to Make an “Addilyn”/ Cómo hacer una “Addilyn”—Ashley Reed...65 I Am, I Was—Jessica González...66 Future—Jessica González...67 Haiku—Sonia Marzo...68 Conversation Between Me & Mom—Maximiana Daniels...68 Mi vida—Mary Morales...69 Ignition: The Starting Line—Jessica González...70

About the Writer-in-Residence...76

6


Foreword When I first connected with Gemini Ink, I thought this was a wonderful service for youth who wished to express themselves through literary means. I had no idea Gemini Ink would enter Guadalupe Home and provide such a formative transition through expression for our moms. Through the most gentle guidance, our moms were able to comfortably reach deeply within themselves, crafting unique story lines and creating colorful expressions of themselves. We are wonderfully changed by this experience. Thank you for all you do.   Thank you so much,

Elly Ramsay M.A., L.P.C., Director Guadalupe Home, a transitional program for moms and babies. San Antonio, Texas

vii.


Preface what language ability tests can never reveal: her intent, her passion, her imagery, the rhythms of her speech and the nature of her thoughts —From Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue”

A mother is always writing. Motherhood is woman’s word made flesh through her process of editing and revising multiple lives: her child’s and her own. This is an anthology of writing by seven women whose personal hopes for a better future are secured in baby carriers and car seats. These writers are at a crossroads: they live in a shelter for mothers of children under two years old in San Antonio, Texas. Guadalupe Home gives a second chance to mothers and their babies who have become homeless for whatever reason. Ranging in ages and backgrounds, what the women all share are the challenges and joys that come with steering another human being while trying to address their own needs. As part of the Gemini Ink’s Writers in Communities Program, I joined them for a leg of their journey in the hopes that the act of writing might help the women map their place in the world. Over ten weeks, they drew from their life experiences to create collages, drawings, and pieces of poetry, fiction, and prose. In the process of writing, discussing, and revising their work, the mothers re-examined their lives and articulated their dreams. Initially, some approached the page with the usual fears of spelling and grammar, along with the sense that their thoughts and lives were not worthy of ink. Our first exercises in collage-making and then writing from these images, helped participants give themselves permission to tell their stories. The exercises also played a key role in welcoming a nonEnglish-speaking participant who ultimately wrote fearlessly in her native Spanish. And I was just as happy to find that two participants were already in the process of writing longer works, excerpts of which are included in this anthology. We laughed a lot. Of course, there was also plenty of crying, sometimes from a mother reading a poem, often from the children in the background. I especially admired how the women tended to each other’s children during the workshop. In fact, many of the photographs in this anthology illustrate what I’ve come to learn as a mother and writer myself: that there is a fine line between the writer, her writing, and her child(ren). Mother Tongue captures the intents, passions, imagery, rhythms, and thoughts of women whose quiet triumphs often go unnoticed, even by them. There is Mary Morales’ gift for humor in the face of hardship; Ashley Reed’s unsentimentality in pieces like “Anti-Haiku”; Angel Lace’s romantic name to match her heartfelt writings; Sonia Marzo’s moving accounts of her gains and losses; Jessica González’s time-hopping and prolific imagination; Maximiana Daniels’ embarkment on a new life with her son in San Antonio; and Verónica Colunga’s modern-day fairytales. Many people have made this effort possible. I want to thank the writers for being 8vi.


so generous with their stories, for reminding me of the importance of being honest on the page. Props to Executive Director Suzanne de León and Assistant Director Elly Ramsay for running a tight ship while teaching the women how to be the captains of their future. Thanks also to Guadalupe Home’s staff for helping watch over the children so the women could write. Above all else, much gratitude to Anisa Onofre, Director of Gemini Ink’s Writers in Communities Program, for ensuring that the writing project continues to inspire and help liberate. It’s fitting that Guadalupe Home opened the doors to a brand-new home this year: some say that hidden in the complex iconography of La Virgen de Guadalupe is the Divine Feminine, with the oval halo symbolizing the door of life into this world. So in the same spirit, this collection of writings by the women of Guadalupe Home ends with Jessica González’s short story, “Ignition: The Starting Line.”  

Nelly Rosario June 2012

9vii.


Prefacio lo que las pruebas de aptitud para el lenguaje nunca podrán revelar: su intención, su pasión, sus imágenes, los ritmos de su discurso y la naturaleza de sus pensamientos —Extracto de “Idioma materno” por Amy Tan

La madre siempre está escribiendo. La maternidad es la palabra de mujer hecha carne a través de su proceso de edición y revisión de múltiples vidas: la de su hijo y la de ella propia. Ésta es una antología de los escritos de siete mujeres cuyas esperanzas hacía un mejor futuro están atadas a porta bebés y asientos de coche. Estas escritoras se encuentran en una encrucijada: viven en un albergue para madres de niños menores de dos años en San Antonio, Texas. Casa Guadalupe ofrece una segunda oportunidad a madres y sus bebés que han quedado sin hogar por cualquier razón. Entre varias edades y procedencias, lo que las mujeres comparten son los retos y las alegrías que son parte de lo que es dirigir otro ser humano mientras se trata de abordar necesidades propias. Como parte del programa Gemini Ink Writers in Communities (escritores en la comunidad), me uní a una parte de la jornada de estas madres con la esperanza de que el acto de escribir las ayudara a realizar un mapa de su lugar en el mundo. A través de diez semanas, excalvaron sus experiencias de vida para crear dibujos, poesía, ficción y prosa. El proceso de escribir, discutir y revisar su trabajo facilitó que las madres examinaran sus vidas y articularan sus sueños. Al principio, algunas se acercaban a la página con los temores habituales antes la ortografía y gramática, junto al sentido de que sus pensamientos y sus vidas no son dignas de la tinta. Nuestros primeros ejercicios con imágenes ayudó a las participantes darse permiso para contar sus historias. Los ejercicios también jugaron un papel clave en darle la bienvenida a una participante no habla inglés y quien, al fin, llegó a escribir sin miedo en su español nativo. Y me alegré también al ver que dos participantes ya estaban escribiendo largas obras, extractos que estan incluidos en esta antología. Nos reímos mucho. Por supuesto, hubo también un montón de lloradera, a veces mientras una madre leía un poema, y más a menudo por los niños en el fondo. Admiraba especialmente cómo las mujeres tendían a los niños de cada cual durante el taller. De hecho, muchas de las fotos en esta antología ilustran lo que he venido a aprender como madre y escritora: que hay una línea muy fina entre la escritora, su obra, y su hijo/a. Idioma materno colecciona las intenciones, pasiones, imágenes, los ritmos y pensamientos de mujeres cuyos triunfos privados son raramente notados, incluso por ellas. Aquí se encuentra Mary Morales, quien se enfrenta a la adversidad con humor; Ashley Reed, escritora de obras sin sentimentalismo como “Anti-Haiku;” Ángel Lace, cuyo nombre romántico coincida con sus escritos de corazón; Sonia Marzo narra sus ganancias y pérdidas; Jessica González, con su saltados de tiempo y prolífica imaginación; el comienzo de una nueva vida en San Antonio de Maximiana Daniels y su hijo; y los modernos cuentos de hadas de Verónica Colunga. 10 viii.


Mucha gente ha hecho posible este esfuerzo. Quiero agradecer a las escritoras por ser tan generosas con sus historias, por recordarme de la importancia de ser honesta en la página. Agradecimientos a la Directora Ejecutiva Suzanne de León y a la Directora Auxiliar Elly Ramsay por llevar el timón con mano firme mientras que le enseñan a las mujeres ser capitanas de su futuro. Gracias también al resto del personal de Guadalupe Home por ayudar a velar los niños para que las mujeres participaran en el taller. Sobre todo, gracias a Anisa Onofre, Directora de Gemini Ink Writers in Communities Program, por asegurar que el proyecto de escritura siga inspirando y ayudando a liberar. Es apropiado que este año Casa Guadalupe abriera las puertas a una casa nueva: dicen que ocultada en la compleja iconografía de la Virgen de Guadalupe está la Divina Femenina, con la aureola ovalada simbolizando la puerta de la vida en este mundo. Así que es con en tal espíritu que esta colección de escritos por las mujeres de Casa Guadalupe termine con el cuento de Jessica González titulado “Ignición: La línea de salida”.  

Nelly Rosario Junio 2012

xi. 11


12


Letters From san antonio cARTAS deSde SAn AnTOniO

11


2


soniantonio

Sonia Marzo

I’m a drive-in in San Antonio, and I’ve had a long and happy time here. I’ve had families come together to spend time here. I had children run and play. I had children and adults eat lots of popcorn and candy just to watch me play movies. I was always under the bright stars, and the wind was so mild and fresh. I enjoyed the kids sneaking in to have a peek of the show. Girlfriends and boyfriends kissing under the stars. I’ve had a great time throughout the years. Then I was torn down ‘cause I got old. But my memories will stay with you. I am the Mission Drive-In. Soy un auto-cine en San Antonio, y he tenido un feliz y largo tiempo aquí. He visto familias reunirse para pasar el tiempo aquí. Hago que los niños corran y jueguen. Hago que los niños y los adultos coman un montón de palomitas de maíz y dulces sólo para ver mis películas. Siempre estuve bajo las estrellas brillantes, y el viento era tan suave y fresco. Disfruté de cómo los niños se colaban para echarle un vistazo al show. Novias y novios besándose bajo las estrellas. Me he divertido a través de los años. Luego tuve que ser derribado, porque envejecí. Sin embargo, mis recuerdos se quedarán con ustedes. Yo soy el Misión Drive-In.

3


dear Father Maximiana Daniels

How are you doing? I hope fine. Myself, I’m great. I moved to San Antonio last Friday. I like it here. I’m starting my new life. I’m going to college. I want my son to grow up better than I did. I’ve met and made some new friends—they’re awesome. I really wish you could see my son. He is a really smart kid and growing up fast. He is already two years old. His daddy is finally in the picture, and Brayden is happy with him. As long as my son is happy, then I am. Dad, I’m about to be 19 on April 26, 2012. I wish I could see you. If you’d see me now, you wouldn’t recognize me. My attitude has changed so much. Well, I don’t have much else to say. Hope to hear back from you. With love, M. Daniels

4


Carta anónima para Juan

Verónica Colunga

Existo hace mucho tiempo. Existo sólo en personas que me desean. Existo cuando alguien cierra sus ojos y me pide llegar a su vida. Soy alguien muy fuerte. Tengo muchos años de vida y siempre viviré mientras tú existas. Pero lo más importante es que yo te guiaré en tu camino. No te dejaré, como la mayoría de las mujeres, que llegan a tu vida. Estaremos hombro a hombro, pie con pie, mente con mente. Siempre estaré para tí. Att.: Esperanza

Anonymous Letter to Juan

Verónica Colunga

I have existed for a long time. I only exist in people who desire me. I exist when someone closes his eyes and asks me to come into his life. I am someone who is very strong. I have many years of life and will always live while you exist. But what is most important is that I will lead you on your path. I won’t leave you, like the majority of the women who come into your life. We will be shoulder-to-shoulder, foot-to-foot, mind-to-mind. I will always be here for you. Attn.: Esperanza

5


sinCereLy, angeL Angel Lace

Hi Dad: This is your daughter, Angel Lace. I feel like you have forgotten about your kids. Is this true? If so, how? If so, why? I remember when I was younger and would wonder: “Where are you, Dad? Where is my family? Why don’t I have you and my mom with Matthew and myself?” I also remember you and mom fighting, and we’d go to Wello and Wella’s house, and when it was bedtime, you would hold me if I was sick. I don’t have many good memories of us happy. I don’t have many memories of a happy family. Why do people say you love me when I don’t even know you?!? I know why: because you have weakened as a father and maybe as a man. That, I don’t know. I can forgive you if you would only call me. Show concern, ask about your first blood-grandchild. I can only pray that you will hear my pain through your spirit. I pray you can change for your own good. I can only pray, because you don’t even know where I am or where my blessing of a child is, even though I know where you are. I write this letter as a part of healing for me, so that I am not angry at you, so that I can become a stronger individual, but also a loving individual. If you think I am cold-hearted, I can inform you that I try my hardest not to be. Unfortunately, I sometimes dwell on my pain—but I am tough, which is something you might not know about me. So if you only knew about the New Angel overcoming the Old Angel, or my own life experiences, you’d know I pray to forgive you. I cannot forget, but I do think, “How do I forget someone I don’t know?” This is because I still have a heart, and my heart is in search of a better life, a better life with love. I thank God for my baby, who I will never abandon.

6


Querido PaPÁ Verónica Colunga

Le doy gracias a Dios por haberme elegido a mí ser parte de tu vida, porque para tí no fue fácil enseñarme de la vida. Ahora sé que tú nunca querías que yo sufriera algún día. Por eso me enseñaste el valor de la vida y a defenderme de los que me hacían daño. Me enseñaste a ser una mujer madura y responsable de mis actos. Me inculcaste los valores de la familia y, sobre todo, recibí y sigo recibiendo mucho amor. Gracias, Papá, por estar siempre a mi lado, por apoyarme siempre, por quererme tanto. Te amo, mi querido padre. I thank God for having chosen me to be part of your life, because for you it wasn’t easy to teach me about life. Now I know that you never wanted me to suffer some day. That is why you taught me the value of life and how to defend myself from those who would hurt me. You taught me to be a mature woman responsible for my acts. You taught me the value of family and, above all, I received and continue to receive plenty of love. Thank you, Papá, for always being at my side, for always supporting me, for loving me so much. I love you, my dear father.

7


8


Letters to My Parents

Mary Morales

Dad, So, how’s it up there? Is it the way people say, with pearly white gates? So, have you gotten to see God or Jesus yet? If you have, tell them I said ‘Hi’ and that I need a car so badly. Miracle hates the sun, so I need a car for my baby. Dad, are there real angels up there? Well, I better go, I’m tired. Oh, P.S. I miss you, Daddy.

Hey Lady, What’s up? It’s me, your daughter Mary. Remember me? So, I’m just checking on you to make sure you’re still alive. Well, as you can see, I am. I just want to let you know that your granddaughter is doing well. She’s going on five months and is already eating baby food. She’s so big! I like being a mom. Why didn’t you? Why did you become a mom and not act like one? Why weren’t you ever there for us? I can’t even imagine not being a mom to my kids. What’s wrong with you? So, anyways, I was even able to spend Easter with my other kids. I had a great time. I can say it over and over: I love being a mom. It’s an awesome feeling. My kids give me a feeling inside that fills me. I thank God for them every day. Do you know, because of what I went through with you, I have a lot of problems to deal with now? Why don’t you change? You’re already old. Stop that crap before you die.

9


10


we need to taLk

TeneMOS QUe HABLAR

11


12


Relationship in 21 Questions

Ashley Reed

What are you doing? How are things going? Where are you going? What is that? Who is that right there? Can we do this together? Why not? Are you going to really answer? Was that really true? What’s that awful smell? Are you staring at her? Why not stare at that? Can you stop staring? What time is it? Can we go now? When did you hear that? Who are you? Who am I? Can we please leave now? Where’d you go? Are we done?

13


14


Dialing the Right Numbers

Sonia Marzo

“Hello, Mom, I’m just calling to see how you are doing.” “I’m fine, m’ija. How about you?” “Well, I’m hanging in there. Everything that’s going on right now in my life is very emotional and stressful.” “M’ija, always remember that God will help you and never leave you. God will give you the strength to handle even the hardest things in life.” “Thanks, Mom, I know. But sometimes it feels like I’m all alone—and I do pray when I feel this way.” “M’ija, always remember to never give up. I know you’re trying to do everything you can to get your son back. And that’s all that matters. That you are trying your best and that you are a good mom. I know you regret a lot of things, but remember that those things are in your past. Move forward, m’ija, and never stop fighting to reach your goals and to be happy.” “Mom, what would I do without you? That’s why I don’t stop fighting, because I have a loving and strong mother like you. Well, I will call you again later or tomorrow, okay? Love you so much.” ***

“Hi, Papi, can you come and pick me up so I can go on my overnight pass?”

“Sí, m’ija, what time?”

“Well, you can come at noon or at 1 PM, okay?”

“I’ll be there.”

“Thanks, Papi, for picking me up today. I just miss you so much, and I’d love to come spend the weekend with you all.” “Oh, m’ija, you are welcome to come whenever you want. I just want you to be alright and safe.”

“Thanks, Papi. I am fine and everything will get better.”

“Sí, m’ija, it will.”

15


eL seCreto

Verónica Colunga

—¿Dónde lo enterraste? —En el patio. —Qué idea más tonta. La gente pronto se dará cuenta. —No lo creo. Me aseguré de que el pozo estuviera profundo. —Planta un árbol o flores para disimular que abriste la tierra. —Iré a la tienda a comprar un árbol con espinas. —Después de plantar el árbol, ya no quiero que vuelvas aquí. —¡Pero Mamá! —Cállate y obedece. De hoy en adelante, yo tomaré las decisions y tú obedecerás. Ésto es para evitar las pendejadas que haces. —Está bien. —Te vas a ir a Nuevo México a dirijir la gente de tu padre. —¿Que quieres, que yo diriga su gente? Ellos me preguntarán por él, ¿y qué les voy a decir? Me pondré nerviosa y no les puedo decir lo que pasó. —No seas idiota. Nadie tiene por qué saber lo que pasó. —¡Pero Mamá! —¡Obedece! O tú serás la próxima. —Okay, Mamá. Después de enterrar en el jardín el perro preferido de Papá porque murió de un infarto, plantaré un rosal e iré a Nuevo México a dirigir la gente de la compañía pastelera de Papá, ya que Papá se encuentra de vacaciones en Cancún.

16


the seCret Verónica Colunga

—Where did you bury him? —In the backyard. —What a dumb idea. People will quickly notice. —I don’t think so. I made sure that the hole was deep. —Plant a tree or flowers to disguise that you turned over the soil. —I’ll go to the store and buy a tree with thorns. —After planting the tree, I don’t want you to come back here. —But Mamá! —Shut up and obey. From today on, I’ll make the decisions and you’ll obey. This is to prevent all the crap you do. —Fine. —You’re going to go to New Mexico to lead your father’s people. —You want me to lead his people? They’ll ask me for him, and what am I going to tell them? I’ll get nervous, and I can’t tell them what happened. —Don’t be an idiot. No one needs to know what happened. —But Mamá! —Obey! Or you’ll be next. —Okay, Mamá. So after burying Papá’s favorite dog in the garden because it died of a heart attack, I will plant a rosebush and go to New Mexico to manage the employees of Papá’s bakery, since he’s on vacation in Cancún.

17


¿Por qué?

Why?

¿Por qué estoy aquí? ¿Por qué me llamo María? ¿Por qué tengo tantos niños? ¿Por qué no me baja la panza? ¿Por qué la gente agarran canas? ¿Por qué no le tengo miedo a Dios? ¿Por qué no pienso bien? ¿Por qué me gusta mucho el chocolate? ¿Por qué los borrachos toman mucho?

Why am I here? Why is my name Mary? Why do I have so many children? Why doesn’t my belly go down? Why do people get gray? Why am I not afraid of God? Why don’t I think right? Why do I love chocolate so much? Why do drunks drink so much?

Why? How? Why?

¿Por qué? ¿Cómo? ¿Por qué?

Why do people get old? Why can’t I see the wind? How can I marry a rich man? How can I be young again? How can I see my future? Who was in my past life? Why am I so tired? Why do I dream? Why is my hair dark? Why do I get hungry?

¿Por qué envejece la gente? ¿Por qué no puedo ver el viento? ¿Cómo puedo casarme con un hombre rico? ¿Cómo se puede ser joven de nuevo? ¿Cómo puedo ver mi futuro? ¿Quién era yo en mi vida pasada? ¿Por qué estoy tan cansada? ¿Por qué soñamos? ¿Por qué es oscuro mi pelo? ¿Por qué tengo hambre?

Mary Morales

Sonia Marzo

18


a PoLitiCaL FaCe-oFF Jessica González

Why is there fear? Why is there hunger? Why is there poverty? Why do you cry? Why did he die? Why does she bleed? Why are we divided? Why does he bear a different flag? Why do I fight my brother? What are we doing to each other? What is a DMZ? Why is it there? Why do you point the gun at me? Why are we occupied? Why am I alone? Why do I hear death calling? Why do their bombs drop? How did I die? Why am I dead? Why won’t the Americans leave?

19


Soda and a Movie Angel Lace

ANGEL Hey, good morning! MOTHER Morning… ANGEL What’s wrong? MOTHER You know I’m not in a good mood until I have soda. ANGEL I’ll get you one. MOTHER Okay. ANGEL Here you go… MOTHER So, what do you want? ANGEL I’m not sure. I just want to hang out with you. MOTHER Okay… ANGEL Want to watch a movie? MOTHER Sure. ANGEL I’ll make some popcorn.

20


MOTHER What are we going to watch? ANGEL Something funny. MOTHER Nah! I want to watch a scary movie. ANGEL (sighs) Really? Okay. MOTHER Put on Wrong Turn. ANGEL Ew! Okay.

21


Haiku

Jessica González No sisters for me Never again alone, me I am a woman

Anti-Haiku Ashley Reed

I can’t stand haikus They really get on my nerves I’d rather just not!

Voices in the Head

Voces en la cabeza

A person’s gotten her heart ripped out So sad she’s feeling that she can’t even hold her head up

A una persona le han arrancado su corazón Tan triste se siente que ni siquiera puede mantener su cabeza alta

She’s in a daze or zoned out Thinking really hard of a rainbow or of being rich A girl has just exploded

Ella está aturdida o despistada pensando duramente en un arco iris o de ser rica Una chica que acaba de estallarse

And is about to blow up

Y está a punto de explotar

Mary Morales

22


Anti-Sonia

Sonia Marzo

My name is GeeGee, and I’m not a good person to get along with. I don’t like people telling me what to do, ‘cause I know everything. I’m a person who causes drama and holds grudges. I’m sad and really want attention, but don’t know how to communicate with others. I make people believe that I’m okay to hang with, but no one should trust me. People try to help me, but I think they’re just trying to tell me what to do. I have no respect for others. My life is a mess. I just don’t like myself.

Mi nombre es GeeGee, y no soy buena persona con quien llevarse bien. No me gusta que la gente me diga qué hacer, porque lo sé todo. Soy una persona que causa el drama y guarda rencor. Estoy triste y realmente quiero llamar la atención, pero no sé cómo comunicarme con los demás. Quiero que la gente crea que valgo la pena para pasar el rato, pero nadie debería confiar en mí. La gente trata de ayudarme, pero creo que sólo están tratando de decirme qué hacer. No tengo ningún respeto por los demás. Mi vida es un desastre. Simplemente no me gusto.

23


Darn, Bunny! Mary Morales

You need to stop accusing me all the time of cheating I go to the store, I’m f-ing someone I go see my sister, I’m f-ing someone Anywhere I go, you time me Two minutes to drive to the store Seven minutes to be in there And two minutes back home Stop! You’re gonna drive yourself crazy Tienes que dejar de siempre acusarme de hacerte trampas Si voy a la tienda, me estoy chingando a alguien Si voy a ver a mi hermana, me estoy chingando a alguien Dondequiera que voy, me programas Dos minutos para llegar a la tienda Siete minutos para estar allí Y dos minutos de vuelta a casa ¡Déjame! Te vas a volver loca

24


onCe uPon a time ÉRASe UnA VeZ

25


One Day at a Time Mary Morales

In my future, I see myself being successful In my future, I’m drug-free In my future, I see me pulling my hair out every time I remember my drug disease In my future, I see me and my daughter very peaceful In my future, I see that I’m financially stable In my future, I see a puzzle put together and fixed In my future, I see myself strong and happy In my future, I see that my dreams have come true In my future, I see me taking one day at a time

Un día a la vez En mi futuro, me veo exitosa En mi futuro, estoy libre de drogas En mi futuro, me veo arrancándome el pelo cada vez que me acuerdo de mi enfermedad de drogas En mi futuro, veo a mí y a mi hija muy tranquilas En mi futuro, veo que estoy financieramente estable En mi futuro, veo un rompecabezas formado y arreglado En mi futuro, me veo fuerte y feliz En mi futuro, veo que mis sueños se han hecho realidad En mi futuro, me veo solo tomando un día a la vez

26


La flor de deseos

Verónica Colunga

Había una vez una flor mágica, que cuando era solo un botón, su madre le decía: “Tú eres ahora botón, pero cuando crescas, seras una bella flor—pero no serás una flor cualquiera. Serás una flor mágica, a quién te tenga en sus manos le cumplirás un deseo”. Pasó el tiempo. La flor creció, creció y creció. Dejó de ser el tierno botón y se convirtió en una bella flor. La flor estaba muy hermosa y pocos conocían su escencia y gran secreto. En el pueblo, existía una persona apartada de todos los habitantes y con un corazón no tan puro. Su sola presencia causaba miedo a los habitantes del pueblo. Él vivía en las afueras del camino principal—y él, él conocía el gran secreto de la flor. Él…la quería. La quería para pedir un mal deseo. Planeaba tomar la flor y adueñarse de ella. Una tarde de lluvia, la flor caminaba apurada en camino a casa cuando de pronto el hombre aquel salió a su paso. La flor sintió las malas intenciones del hombre y quiso evitar que la tomara en sus manos para evitar concederle su mal deseo. La flor corrió y corrió y corrió, pero fue inevitable el escapar de aquel hombre. El hombre la tomó en sus manos y le dijo: “Estás obligada a cumplir mi deseo, cualquiera que este sea.” Así que el hombre se hincó en el suelo, cerró sus ojos, y le pidió: “Ser un buen hombre, con un corazón bueno y piadoso”. La flor, sorprendida por el deseo, se quedó callada unos momentos y dijo: “Concedido”. El hombre ahora es una buena persona. Tiene una enorme granja, donde cultiva flores para donarlas a las personas pobres.

27


The Flower of Desires Verónica Colunga

Once upon a time, there was a magic flower. When she was just a bud, her mother would say: “You are now only a bud, but when you grow up you will be a beautiful flower—but you will not be just any flower. You will be a magic flower and to whomever holds you in their hands you will grant a wish.” Time passed. The flower grew, grew, and grew. She stopped being a tender bud and became a beautiful flower. The flower was gorgeous and few knew of her essence and great secret. In the village there lived a loner with a not-so-pure heart. He lived a distance away from the main road—and he knew the great secret of the flower. He wanted her. He wanted her to grant him an evil wish. He planned to pluck the flower and make her his. One rainy afternoon, the flower was hurrying home when that man suddenly crossed her path. The flower felt the man’s bad intentions and wanted to prevent him from taking her into his hands, to keep herself from granting his evil wish. The flower ran and ran and ran, but it was impossible to escape from that man. The man took her in his hands and said, “You’re obligated to grant my wish, whatever it may be.” So he knelt on the ground, closed his eyes, and made his wish: “To be a good man, with a good and pious heart.” Surprised by the wish, the flower remained silent for a moment, then said, “Granted.” The man is now a good person. He has an enormous farm, where he cultivates flowers for donation to the poor.

28


No me gusta éste

Ashley Reed

Soy un maravilloso, bonito lugar Estoy en algún lugar más allá de las nubes Nunca ocurre nada malo aquí No hay dolor, ni lágrimas, nada Tengo grandes y hermosas puertas de oro que solo dejan entrar los que están en el libro El Libro de la vida Soy el hogar de muchos ángeles bellos

I Don’t Like This One I am a wonderful, beautiful place I’m somewhere past clouds Nothing bad ever happens here No pain, no tears, nothing I have big, beautiful golden gates that only let in the ones who are in the book The Book of Life, that is I’m the home to many beautiful angels

29


Soy Ciudad Gotham Jessica González

Soy Ciudad Gotham, engañosamente simpática fácil de día y encantadoramente maliciosa de noche. Mis rascacielos pican con fuertes emociones, y mis calles son como el sucio debajo de tus uñas. Mis ríos estan inundados de contaminación y aguas residuales y sentimientos nublados por duda. Dentro de mí, una guerra como la del adicto en rehabilitación. Tengo fuertes reacciones que muestran en mi cara las tantas balas y bombas disparadas dentro de mí, un accidente automovilístico y pedazos de vidrio cortándome. Allí prospero en la oscuridad con mi guerra. El conflicto contínuo es mi inevitable naturaleza, sin importar lo mucho que lo evite. Yo soy la noche. Yo soy la oscuridad. Yo soy la Ciudad Gotham.

I Am Gotham City I am Gotham City, deceivingly friendly in the day and charmingly mischievous at night. My skyscrapers spike with strong emotions, and my streets are like the dirt under your nails. My rivers are flooded with pollution and sewage and feelings clouded with doubt. Within me, a war like the addicts in rehab. I have strong reactions that show in my face the many bullets and bombs that shoot through me, a car crash and pieces of glass cutting through. There I thrive in the darkness with my war. Ongoing conflict is my inevitable nature, no matter how much I avoid it. I am the night. I am darkness. I am Gotham City.

30


The Ant

Verónica Colunga I am an ant that works all day. I spit food from one side to another. I have no time to rest. I work for long periods in the summer, but once winter comes, I go on vacation with my family to the beach of the ants. I like to lie down in the sand and have a beer, then another and another and another until my wife ends up dragging me to shore because the tide is taking me. I love winter. Now it is summer. I’m working hard, but I’m thinking about where I’ll go on my next vacation—of course, with my case of beer!!!

La hormiga Soy una hormiga que trabaja todo el día. Acarreo comida de un lado a otro. No tengo tiempo de descanso. Trabajo temporadas largas en el verano, pero al llegar el invierno, me voy de vacaciones con mi familia a la playa de las hormigas. Me gusta recostarme en la arena y tomarme una cerveza, y luego otra y otra y otra hasta que mi esposa termina arrastrándome a la orilla de la playa porque la marea me está llevando.

Me encanta el invierno.

Ahora es verano. Estoy trabajando duro, pero estoy pensando a donde iré en mis próximas vacaciones—claro, ¡!¡!con mi caja de cervezas¡!¡!

31


Una mariposa Sonia Marzo

Una vez me soñé con una hermosa mariposa. La estoy persiguiendo a través de este gran campo verde. Vuela alto, y luego vuelve a bajar y se posa en una flor. Me encanta la forma en que vuela la mariposa. Se ve tan feliz y libre. A veces deseo ser esa mariposa, libre para volar e ir a donde le plazca. Vuela libremente dondequiera. Cierro los ojos y me hago esta mariposa, tan hermosa y libre. Le ruego a Dios que me diera una conexión espiritual con él, que me haga sentir en paz y libre, al igual que el hermoso insecto llamado mariposa.

A Butterfly I once had a dream about a beautiful butterfly. I’m chasing it all through this big, green field. It flies up high, and then it comes back down and lands on a flower. I love the way the butterfly flies. It seems so happy and free. Sometimes, I wish I were that butterfly, free to fly and go where it pleases. It flies free anywhere. I close my eyes and make myself this butterfly, so beautiful and free. I pray to God above to give me a spiritual connection with him, to make me feel at peace and free, just like the beautiful insect called butterfly.

32


I Remember Us

Ashley Reed

I remember the day we met …thinking, “He’s so gorgeous!” …the day you added me on MySpace I remember MySpace! …when you commented on my picture …ignoring you …you giving me your number …ignoring you …your message I remember me telling you I was taken …you sweet-talking me …breaking up with him …prom night, when you stayed I remember you saying, “I love you” …my mom not letting us talk …sneaking out to see you …getting caught …running away with you I remember our first time …taking a test …getting fat …you not feeling the same I remember the day we met our son …leaving …you begging I remember it being over

33


34


Future LandsCaPe

Sonia Marzo

I can see the beauty in nature I’m in the middle of all the seasons Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I can feel the sun on my face I can also see the moon because I can step into the night I can feel the wind on my face and see the flowers and grass move with the wind I’m in a peaceful place And only I can see it I feel the leaves from the tree tickle my face My baby next to me Watching him sleep while I write myself to sleep The fire that burns inside of me will get me where I want to be In my future I see the stars around me and my sons next to me In their ears, I whisper I love you

35


36


aLL my ChiLdren TOd@S MiS HiJ@S

37


38


what brayden is made oF

Maximiana Daniels

2 lbs Intelligence ⅓ cup Black American 3 cups Hispanic 1 cup Stardust 1 tsp. Daniels 6½ cups Alvidrez 3 tbsp. Joy 2 qts. Kindness 1 oz. Black locks

eL Contenido de brayden 2 libras de inteligencia ⅓ taza afro-americano 3 tazas hispano 1 taza de polvo de estrellas 1 cdta. Daniels 6 ½ tazas Alvidrez 3 cdas. alegría 2 cuartos de galón bondad 1 oz rizos negros 39


three haikus Mary Morales

¿Qué pasa, todos? ¿Cómo les va aquí, eh? ¡Ojalá muy bien! I’m Mary Helen, here in Guadalupe Home Sometimes I act weird I love my kids lots I’m a very blessed mother And very happy

mi bebé

Jessica González ¼ cup Mexican ¼ cup Korean ¼ cup French-Canadian ¼ cup Irish Mix eye colors Shake and stir hair color Bake with care A dash of Olympian salt A sprig of Puget Sound flowers

40


Out of the Mouths of Babes

Ashley Reed

My name is Caleb. I’m only a year old. I love the color red. I live with my grandma, but call her Nanny (if I could talk). I haven’t seen my Dad since I was about three months old, but it’s okay because I have a new Daddy who’s adopting me very soon: he’s my grandpa. I love him so much, and every time I see him, I get a huge smile on my face. I see my mommy sometimes, and every time she holds me, I get so sleepy. Something about her is so comforting. I have three beautiful aunts, but only two of them live with me. Kayla and Kelsey are my best friends. They look exactly the same, and they fight with each other a lot! I have one sister named Addilyn. I hate when she cries. It really bugs me. But I like to look at her. I’m a very happy baby. I’ve been through so much this past year. When I was in my mommy’s tummy, she got sick and my brain wasn’t able to develop properly. I was born with brain damage. It makes my body do all these weird things that I don’t like. I have lots of doctors—and nurses, too! The nurses come to my house and help take care of me. I’m a very strong and amazing little boy. I have everyone wrapped around my little baby finger, and I always get all kinds of new toys. Well, that’s it for now!

41


mi Parto Fue aburrido Ashley Reed

Después de haber sentido contracciones por dos semanas y un montón de dolor durante tres meses (en mi espalda, caderas y piernas) y solo estar dilatada dos centímetros, ya estaba tan dispuesta a dar a luz. Estaba tan cansada de no poder dormir, llorando porque dolía mucho cada vez que me levantaba de noche para ir al baño. Me desperté a las dos de la madrugada y desperté a Jesse. Le dije a él que sentía contracciones más fuertes y que ya no podía dormir con ellas. “¡Vamos!” dijo él mientras saltaba de la cama. Yo quería primero ducharme, así fui al baño, con tanto dolor, y me duché rápidamente, mientras que Jesse me apuraba (pensando que ella iba a salirse de repente!). Así que me duché rápidamente, me puso ropa cómoda. Jesse me agarró mi equipaje para el hospital y preparó el carro. Nos llevaron al hospital. Me dirigí directamente a la sala de partos, donde me pusieron suero. Luego simplemente esperé y esperé, hasta que mi médico entró. A las siete de la mañana, un médico varón (¡no mi médica!) entró y me revisó y estaba dilatada solo tres centímetros. Él se adelantó y me rompió el agua, lo que me dio mucho asco. Quedé acostada con dolor, viendo la película “Knocked Up.” El dolor era muy intenso...

42


my Labor was boring

Ashley Reed

After contracting for two weeks and being in a lot of pain for three months (in my back, hips, and legs) and only being dilated to a two, I was so ready to have her. I was so tired of not being able to sleep, crying because I was in so much pain whenever I’d have to get up and go to the bathroom at night. I woke up at 2 AM and woke up Jesse. I told him I was having stronger contractions and that I couldn’t sleep through them anymore. “Let’s go!” he said while jumping out of bed. I wanted to shower first, so I walked to the bathroom in so much pain and took a quick shower, while Jesse kept rushing me (thinking she was gonna just fall out!). So I showered fast and put on comfortable clothes. Jesse grabbed my hospital bags and started the car. We rushed to the hospital. I went straight to Labor & Delivery and got my IV. Then I just waited and waited ‘til my doctor came in. At 7 AM, a male doctor (not my LADY doctor!) came in and checked me and I was only dilated 3 cm. He went ahead and broke my water and it felt disgusting. I lay in pain, watching the movie Knocked Up. The pain was getting really intense…

43


44


Golden Kiss

Mary Morales

An angel came to visit me— at least that’s how it seems We laughed and talked about y’all while walking through my dreams I handed her my love for you all in the form of a Golden Kiss So if ever you all lie awake one night and feel something brush your lips remember it’s Mommy and The Angel delivering my Golden Kiss Dedicated to: All My Kids

Beso dorado Un ángel me visitó— al menos a eso me parece Nos reímos y hablamos de todos ustedes mientras caminábamos por mis sueños Le entregué a ella mi amor por todos ustedes en forma de un beso dorado Así que si alguna vez se queden despiertos una noche y sientan algo cepillar sus labios recuerden que es Mami y El Ángel entregándoles mi beso dorado Dedicado a: Todos mis hijos

45


Love reCiPes

Verónica Colunga

Daisy She’s made of lots of love, ½ pound of strong character and the rest tenderness. I put in chocolate chips. That’s why her skin tone is dark. Her beautiful hair is of an Italian pasta with a nutty syrup. And her heart I filled with: love, compassion, tenderness, patience, prudence, courage, and tenacity. All this is Daisy, a beautiful dish with a pretty face.

Leonardo

He’s made of white flour, a little yeast. His hair is made of apples with banana and vanilla. His little face I took, molded from porcelain. His skin is made from that of a peach. And his heart I filled with: love, strength, compassion, kindness, courage, and tenacity. All this is Leonardo, and his geniality as a loving child.

46


reCetas de amor Verónica Colunga

Daisy Está hecha de mucho amor, ½ libra de carácter fuerte y lo de más de ternura. Le puse chispas de chocolate. Por eso su tono de piel es morenita. Su hermoso pelo es de una pasta italiana con jarabe de nuez. Y su corazón lo rellené de: amor, compasión, ternura, paciencia, prudencia, valor y tenacidad. Todo esto es Daisy, un hermoso platillo con cara bonita.

Leonardo

Está hecho de harina blanca, poquita levadura. Su pelo está hecho de manzana con plátano y vainilla. Su carita la saqué de un molde de porcelana. Su piel está hecha de la piel de un durazno. Y su corazón lo rellené de: amor, fuerza, compasión, ternura, valor y tenacidad. Todo esto es Leonardo, y su simpatía de niño amoroso.

47


48


El día en que por primera vez conocí a Saulito

Verónica Colunga

Era un día jueves por la mañana, y yo me sentía intranquila. En ese entonces, tenía 37 semanas de embarazo, y sentía que mi bebé estaba en peligro, porque no sentía ningún movimiento de vitalidad de su parte. Inmediatamente, arreglé mis cosas y abordé el autobus rumbo al hospital universitario. Llegando, me atendieron rápidamente y empezaron a chequear mi barriga, y un sonograma dio como resultado que mi bebé estaba bien: solo estaba dormido. Sentí mucha pena por todo el escándalo que hice. Pero mi doctora sugirió que era mejor intervenir por si sucedía algo más, que él estaría bien. Acepté e inició todo. Tomé el teléfono para avisarle al padre de Saulito a que horas estará programada la cesarean, y por 120 veces le repetiría en cual hospital estaba y a que piso él tendría que acudir al nacimiento de Saulito. Bien. Eran las 4:00 PM y el imbécil padre no llegaba. Los médicos ya no podían esperar más—hasta que inesperadamenta llega. El muy estúpido había ido al hospital metodista y, en el camino al hospital correcto, compró flores y chocolates, pero el muy tonto subió al segundo piso y, como estaba todo nervioso, no supo dónde dejó las flores ni los chocolates cuando llegó al cuarto piso. Llegó y rápidamente lo pasaron a que se pusiera encima una ropa especial para entrar al cuarto de nacimiento. Yo me encontraba muy somnolienta, y recuerdo que un médico se encontraba a mi lado izquierdo y no dejaba de tocar mi frente. Me sentí incómoda y le pregunté que cuanto tardará la cesárea y él contesta sólo con su cabeza una seña que no lo sabía. Por un momento, me dio coraje y dije para mí misma,“Este menso…entonces ¿para que está aquí si no sabe nada?” Al mismo tiempo, estaba molesta porque yo no veía al papá de mi bebé y— ¡Ho, sorpresa! ¡Al tonto que le pregunté cuanto tardarían era el papá de mi bebé! ¡Ho, Dios mío! No logré reconocerlo rápido. Total, me pasaron a mi piso y yo necesitaba unas calcetas porque tenía frío y le dije: “Cuando vayas a la casa y regreses, me traes unas calcetas.” Él me contestó que sí. Pero cuando regresó, mi sorpresa fue que me trajo sus medias de fútbol. Cuando fui a conocer por primera vez a mi bebé, me sentía muy emocionada. No lo podía creer. Le toque su manitas. No podía cargarlo mucho porque estaba conectado a algunos aparatos. Pero desde ese momento, sentí que mi vida, mis pensamientos, mis logros eran de él. Mi bebé, a quien deseo ver muy pronto con el favor de Papá Dios. Te amo, hijito. 49


The Day I First Met Saulito Verónica Colunga

It was a Thursday morning, and I felt uneasy. At the time, I was 37 weeks pregnant, and I felt that my baby was in danger because I felt no vital movements on his part. Immediately, I organized my things and boarded the bus for the hospital. After arriving I was treated quickly, and they started checking my belly, and a sonogram showed that my baby was fine, he was just asleep. I felt bad for all the fuss I’d made. But my doctor suggested that it would be better to intervene should something else happen, that he would be fine. I agreed and this started it all. I phoned to tell Saulito’s father the scheduled time of the caesarean, and 120 times I repeated in which hospital I was and on what floor he would have to report to for the birth of Saulito. Well, it was 4 PM and the idiot father did not come. The doctors could no longer wait—suddenly, he arrives. The fool had gone to the Methodist Hospital and, on the way to the hospital, he’d bought flowers and chocolates, but the fool went upstairs to the second floor and, since he was nervous, did not know where he’d left the flowers or the chocolates once he reached the fourth floor. He arrived and was quickly instructed to put on special clothes before entering the birth room. I was very sleepy, and I remember that one doctor was on my left and he kept touching my forehead. I felt uncomfortable and asked him how long the caesarean would be and he motioned with his head that he did not know. For a moment, I got angry and I said to myself, “This idiot ... then why are you here if you know nothing?” At the same time, I was upset because I did not see the father of my baby and— Oh, surprise! The idiot I’d questioned about how long my baby would take was the father of my baby! Oh my God! I hadn’t recognized him in time. Anyway, they moved me to my floor and I needed some socks because I was cold and I said to him, “When you go home and come back, bring me some socks.” He said yes. But when he returned, to my surprise, he brought his soccer socks! When I first went to meet my baby, I was very excited. I couldn’t believe it. I touched his little hands. I couldn’t carry him much because he was connected to several devices. But from that moment on, I felt that my life, my thoughts, my achievements were his. My baby, who I want to see very soon, God willing. I love you, little son.

50


Laboring Luke Sonia Marzo

The birth of my son Luke was the most beautiful experience, and kind of funny, too. I remember going into labor one morning in November. I got out of bed and went downstairs to drink some water. As soon as I stepped down the last step, I felt a strong contraction. I froze for a good five minutes and waited to see if I would get another one. I didn’t. After an hour, I started getting them again, this time stronger and every ten minutes. I had to tell the staff that I was going into labor. They soon called a taxi because I told them the baby was coming fast. I rode in the taxi with my doula, and I could tell she was nervous. I even felt the driver was nervous and scared, too. I was telling—actually, yelling—at the driver to speed up and go faster. He was telling me, “It’s okay, we’ll be there in a minute.” After a minute, I told him, “Why aren’t we there yet?” I finally got to the hospital, where I spent 35 minutes in labor. I was asking, in a strong tone of voice, “Where is the anesthesia man?” He took forever, but he finally came in my room and gave me the shot that calmed down my pain. Now I was more relaxed. I was looking for my little son to be born. The doctor finally came in and said, “You are ready to push.” After two or three pushes, my little baby boy was born. I heard his beautiful cry. It was so beautiful, I started to cry. Soon after he was born and cleaned up, I got to hold him. His tiny hands touching me and his perfect little body laying on my chest were the best gift I could ever receive from Heaven. I haven’t stopped looking at Luke since the day he was born. I’m in love with him, the love that only a mother can have for her child. I will never be the same. My life has transformed. Unbelievable. My gift weighed 5 lbs 1 oz and was born on the 16th of November.

51


02/14/12 Luke Thomas González St. Luke’s Baptist

Luke is made Sonia Marzo

My son Luke is Made of lots of love strength and strong blood and bones by a Hispanic father and a Hispanic mother who enjoyed making him Luke was made on a hot, steamy weekend So romantic, Luke was made with very strong hands and strong body Luke is a very cute husband-baby who takes after his mother’s genes

52


miraCLe aLeXis moraLes Mary Morales

Is made of 13 pounds of love A vanilla mother And a Hershey’s chocolate father Estå hecha de 13 libras de amor Una madre de vainilla Y un padre de chocolate Hershey

53


mi Parto

Maximiana Daniels

El día más maravilloso de mi vida, pero también una locura. Mi mamá y yo fuimos a pasar la noche con mi hermana. Era a media noche, y yo tenía que ir al baño. Cuando terminé, me puse de pie y agua empezó a salir—no demasiado, pero lo suficiente para decir que había. Fui y le dije a mi hermana, quien me dijo que le dijera a mi mamá. Así que fuí a mi mamá, y ella me preguntó si sentía algunas contracciones, y yo le dije que no, así que ella me mandó a acostar. Luego, me despertó un dolor en el vientre y le dije a mi mamá de nuevo. Me dijo que velara la distancia entre los dolores. Yo no sabía que eran contracciones. Al fín, me volví a dormir. Luego, me desperté para prepararme para el día. Al entrar en la ducha, estaba...goteando...por lo que me asusté y fuí a decirle a mi mamá otra vez. Dijo que me iba a llevar a la sala de emergencias. Llamaron a mi médico...

54


my Labor Maximiana Daniels

The most wonderful day of my life, but also crazy. My mom and I were staying the night with my sister. It was the middle of the night, and I needed to go to the restroom. When I was done, I stood u and water started coming out—not too much, but enough to say it was there. I went and told my sister, who told me to go tell my mom. So I went to my mom, and she asked if I was feeling any contractions, and I told her no, so she told me to go back to sleep. Then I ended up waking up to a pain in my belly and told my mom once again. She told me to watch how far apart the pain was. I didn’t know they were contractions. I ended up falling back to sleep. Then we woke up to get ready for the day, and I was about to get in the shower. As I was getting in, I was, like, leaking, so I got scared and went to tell mom once again. She told me she was going to take me to the emergency room. They called my doctor...

55


Waiting on My Valentine Jessica Gonzรกlez

My Valentine was three days late Not even a flower or a candy heart Instead, I got the most beautiful gift of all A gift of unconditional love But my Valentine started on the 13th Monday the 13th at 4 PM I was induced My Valentine was painful Three epidurals He, my white little Valentine was born at 6:50 PM 8 pounds 5 ounces 20 inches I labored with my Valentine, for 24 hours During two of those hours My Valentine refused to come I pushed and pushed His grandmother held me My doula held me Yet still my Valentine refused Finally They went and got my Valentine

56


re-JoyCing

Angel Lace

She was growing more and more Making harder movements Expanding my already large belly Left to right, up and down I remember trying to figure out what body part was sticking out I love the little human being My daughter, Joyce I would go for my sonograms The OBGYN assistant assured me that my child was a girl I was praying when Joyce’s name came to mind, spirit, and heart The perfect name for her I went to my OBGYN’s office on my due date I had Joyce connected to my insides for 40 weeks, and on February 8, a Wednesday Joyce was expected I was making a critical decision to be induced

57


A Mother’s Love (excerpt) Sonia Marzo

It’s the first of October, and I’m seven months pregnant with Luke. Here, I decided to write this book at an eighth-grade level, and I’m also going through a hard time in my life. I was born in San Antonio, TX, where I still reside. I love San Antonio. It’s a beautiful place to raise a family. One day, I would love to buy a house out in the country and enjoy my life, raising my children and just enjoy everything in life, because I believe that I can live for one hundred years. But if I don’t do something that makes me happy in life, then it’s all just a waste of years. I also have a fourteen-month-old son named Benito, who I miss dearly. When Benito was born, I just melted. It was love at first sight. After three days in the hospital, I finally took Benito home. I just couldn’t take my eyes off of him, he was so perfect and beautiful. I could not imagine putting him down for a second. I would always rock him to sleep. I would watch him sleep and be right there when he woke up so that I could hold him, and just have him close to my heart. We bonded so well, like a mother and child should right after birth. I left Benito’s father when I was 3½ months pregnant and decided to just raise the baby on my own. The father didn’t want any part of our lives and never showed any responsibility for me or the baby. I loved my child and I was going to be the best mother I could be to my son. I had no work and was struggling to make it, but my son always had what he needed. I had to get food stamps and other government assistance, but I had what I needed for Benito. Before I got pregnant with my son, I went to prison for 4 ½ years. I finally came out in 2007 and started looking for work. It wasn’t easy, but I found a housekeeping job with minimum pay. I was happy to have a job, and with a prison record it’s not easy for people to hire you, but I did good. Then, after three years, I got pregnant with Benito. I had this little person whose eyes would light up every time he saw me, and all I could do was thank God for him. I always made sure Benito was well taken care of. I never wanted to put him down. I was always rocking him—if not that, just holding him in my arms always. When it came to putting him in his crib, I felt so alone. I just like the feeling of my baby close to me. Well, my problems started when my son Benito fell off the bed. Benito was 5 ½ months old. He was learning a lot of sounds and grabbing toys. I also enjoyed every minute of it. I remember that morning in December, when I got up to feed Benito his oatmeal— he loves that stuff. I also had a bowl of oatmeal, plus a scrambled egg that morning. I had woken up a little tired, because I wasn’t feeling well from a cold. I didn’t want to drink any medicine that would get me drowsy. I just stuck it out and drank plenty of fluids and soups. That morning, I woke up and fed the baby. I was feeling a bit tired because I couldn’t sleep the night before. My cold was getting worse. My throat was also sore, but my cold wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t take care of things in the house—I was just tired and needed some rest.

58


After me and my son had breakfast, I went into the bedroom with the baby and turned on the cartoons because he used to like the sounds and laughter on TV. I also put some toys on the bed where I was going to lay with him and play for a while until he napped. After an hour of playing, Benito was feeling tired and was ready for a bottle. I picked him up and went to fix him his bottle. I went back into the room and lay down with the baby. After rocking him, he fell asleep and I lay him next to me. I stayed on the bed with my baby, watching him nap. I would never fall asleep with the baby on the bed, but this time I must’ve dozed off 30 minutes into Benito’s nap. I believe Benito had slept about 45 minutes, and I must’ve fallen asleep for the last fifteen minutes of Benito’s nap. Within that time, my baby had worked his way to the edge of the bed. I felt him at my feet when I woke up and immediately tried to grab him before he could fall, but I couldn’t reach for Benito in time, and he turned over and fell. Since he was only 5 ½ months old at the time, he was so delicate and fragile. Immediately, I picked him up and made sure he was all right. I cried so much that day, ‘cause I couldn’t believe I had fallen asleep and that my son had fallen. I just wanted to know he was going to be fine. Little did I know it would turn out to be a nightmare. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed… — 2 Timothy 4:17 (NIV)

My nightmare continued at the hospital, where I took Benito to get him checked and make sure he was fine. After spending all day at the hospital, I had to talk to an officer that the nurses had brought in and tell him what happened. Then Child Protective Services (CPS) was brought in, and I also had to tell them what happened and how it happened. I have a prison record and have also used drugs in the past. CPS looked into my background and found a way to remove my child from the home. They made the report, and then the nurse sent me upstairs to have Benito checked and tested through some head-scan/body machines. By this time, I was tired and my baby was tired, too. He was crying the whole time he was under those machines. He was also hungry, and these people at the hospital wouldn’t let me feed him until he was done with the testing. Benito was feeling uncomfortable and was crying for me to hold him. Finally, I got to feed my son and rock him to sleep. By this time, I was also tired and hungry. The next day, the CPS person came into the room where I was and told me that I wouldn’t be able to take my son home. I asked him why, and he answered that since I had a prison record, they had to stay with Benito until further investigation. I wanted to cry and beg them to please not take my son from me. I stood in a daze. I was in shock. I was in pieces, hurt, destroyed, and didn’t know what to do. I was raising my child on my own, and I didn’t know what to do next. I stayed in the hospital with Benito, because he had hurt his head from the fall and had to stay for testing. After all the testing that night, me and my baby were exhausted, so I rocked him to sleep. I also tried to get some rest, but I just couldn’t sleep. After two days, the doctor came in the room to examine Benito and told me that 59


Benito was going to be fine and heal very well from his injury. I told the doctor that, if everything was fine, why couldn’t I leave with my son? He said he didn’t know why CPS was still around. I just had so many unanswered questions and was so scared of losing my child. I felt so alone. You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on. —John 13:7

God sees the end from the beginning. We only know what we know, but God knows everything. I stayed with my son at the hospital for three and a half days, not because Benito wasn’t doing well, but because CPS wasn’t going to let me take my child home. By that time, I just wanted to take my son home! Later that day, a man from CPS came in and told me I could go home now. I looked at him and begged him to please let me take my son home with me. The CPS worker took my son and was going to place him in foster care. At that moment, I felt like dying. I kissed Benito and held him real tight and told him that I loved him and I was going to get him home soon. I left the hospital hurt, destroyed and in pieces. I rode the bus home. I was dazed and felt like I was dreaming and couldn’t wake up. I never thought I would be going home without Benito. When I got home, I opened the door and saw all of Benito’s toys and bottles, diapers—everything in the house reminded me of my son. I started missing him more. I fell to my knees and started crying uncontrollably. I just wanted to die right there. I couldn’t handle the pain of not having my son. I leaned against the wall, with one of Benito’s bears, and I just cried. I couldn’t sleep at all that night—seeing all of my baby’s things laying around the house made me feel worse because he wasn’t with me. I only had his things to remind me of him. I couldn’t handle that pain. The next morning, I put all of the baby’s things away, from the bottles to the toys, diapers, baby food—everything that was Benito’s. I did this because the pain of not having my son was killing me inside. If we wait upon the Lord our strength will be renewed and we will be able to run and not get weary. — Isaiah 40:31

Soon after that, I started self-medicating.

I didn’t want to be awake and feel the pain. I missed Benito waking up at night. It was music to my ears. I missed rocking Benito and the good feeling of just holding him. I got a letter a month later and had to be in court for Benito. I’d never been through this, so I didn’t know what to expect. The Lord is the stronghold of my life. — Psalms 27:1

The people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits. — Daniel 11:32

I got up that morning and went to court. I waited for hours, it seemed, but I finally got in the courtroom where I met my attorney. The CPS people were also there. After 60


everything was said, the judge ordered me to take classes and admit myself into rehab. I just wanted my child home that day, but they weren’t going to give Benito back any time soon. With no money to take the bus and go to these classes, I was a bit worried. I finally got into rehab and stayed there for only 2 and a half months. I had gotten a job as a cashier and, the following month, got my apartment, hoping that CPS would see that I had a job and a stable place for me and my son. While attending these classes I met all these wonderful women in recovery. These women became my second family. I was blessed just by getting into the Alpha Home and being part of these classes. I had to attend several classes every week and, since I had just started working, I didn’t have any money yet to ride the bus—and it was in the middle of July and August, the hottest months in San Antonio, I had to walk 3 and a half to 4 hours to be at my classes. Here I was, asking God to help me make it there. I could feel my lips cracking and my mouth so dry from thirst. I was also so hungry, but that wouldn’t stop me. I had to do this for my son and for myself. I would never stop fighting to get Benito home. In the long run, this would all be worth it. These women in recovery shared their stories and gave me hope and strength not to give up. I got the chance to share my story and the pain I was going through. They were facing struggles and changes in their lives, too. These women knew what I was going through, and they were there to help me through the steps of recovery. I wanted to stay clean and sober. I didn’t want to use drugs. I didn’t want to lose myself or my son, and I really needed this help. Every week, I looked forward to attending these meetings and classes. I just made it a part of my life and part of my healing. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

—James 5:11

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. — Ps. 23:6 (KJV)

AUTHOR’S NOTE: First, I would like to thank our Lord Jesus Christ for inspiring me to write this book. I give Him all praise and all the Glory. Thank you, Lord. I also want to thank the Assistant Director and the Executive Director here at the Guadalupe Home, where I am currently living. Thank you so much for your love and support, also for always reminding me that, no matter how hard life comes at me, I should never give up. Thanks for all the encouraging words you always had for me. I’m blessed to be here at the Guadalupe Home, where God’s love shines through us. Thanks to my friend and editor, Elly Ramsey.

61


62


Love Lessons

LecciOneS de AMOR

63


64


how to make an “addiLyn” Cómo haCer una “addiLyn”

Ashley Reed

First you meet a sweet guy Date for a while Fall for his lines Trust him Get scared Fight and break up Take a test See a positive See a doctor Tell the “father” Get big and fat Eat a ton Get heartburn Have bad contractions Deliver a beautiful baby Then name her Addilyn Grace

Primero conoces a un tipo dulce Séan novios por un tiempo Déjate llevar de sus palabras Confía en él Asústate Peléen y déjense Toma una prueba Veas positivo Veas a un doctor Dígale al “padre” Ponte grande y gorda Come toneladas Siente acidez Siente contracciones terribles Da a luz a una bella bebé Después nómbrala Addilyn Grace

65


I Am, I Was Jessica González

My name is Conner, and I am a veteran. I survived a World War, a Korean conflict, and I died at 87. My life was full. I had a wife, seven children, and eighteen grandchildren. Growing up in Seguin, there wasn’t much—not like there is for kids these days. My brothers and I swam every day. My mother cooked our meals, and even then I never thought that I would die like I did. In the war, I thought so many times: “This is it. Tell my girlfriend I love her. Tell my mom I love her.” But I lucked out. We all did, my brothers and I.

Then I went to Korea. Never had I seen such beauty. Then I saw the beauty ravaged by war. Just like the Solomon Islands in Guadalcanal.

Who would have known that I would become just as ravaged?

I loved my wife, my children, grandchildren, and my fourteen greatgrandchildren. Fourteen great-grandchildren—wow, I never would have thought. They’re beautiful, all of them. I want to hold them, but all I can do is watch. I want to tell my children that I’m okay. I hate seeing my boys cry, and especially my daughter, my only baby girl. My wife, the love of my life, it was sixty-two years we were married, and the last five of them seemed one-sided. As I became weaker, she got stronger. So many times, I wanted to hold her and tell her that it would be okay. I couldn’t. The words just sat on my tongue. I spent so much of my whole life working that I hadn’t realized what would be my end. My own worst fear: losing myself, my very identity. I am Conner Kerr, and I was a veteran of life. In loving memory of my grandfather, Roman Gonzáles Jr. (1924-2011), who lost his battle with Alzheimer’s.

66


Future

Jessica Gonzรกlez Night and day, yin and yang, a mother, a matriarch, and the fruit of her womb blossoming into a matriarch like her grandmother before her. Though the night is long and rough, joy comes with the morning. Looking over her are those who have passed. In the years to come, her hardships will be no more. Letting go of burdens past and letting go of control, knowing that control is the absence of resistance. Remove the possible and leave only the impossible falling into earth, melding, becoming one with yourself, knowing that you are doing your best. Relax. Your future is yours. She is with you, the Goddess, the Holy Mother. Divine she is and holy is she. From the earth you came and to the earth you shall return. Hold your womb, for it is scared. Precious is the gift within. Calm is the Holy Mother, for the fruit of her womb is most precious in the future. She is rich, and blessed is she who is rich in life.

67


Haiku

Sonia Marzo Reading is great, but I get sleepy so fast and I start snoring, loud

Conversation Between Me & Mom Maximiana Daniels

68

“What are you doing, Mom?” “Nothing, just here.” “Oh, that’s cool…are you drinking?” “No—yes, why?” “Why are you drinking? You said you were going to stop.” “You’re not my mom. I’m grown. I do what I want.” “Yes, I know I’m not your mom—and I don’t want to be—but you promised.” “I’ll do whatever I want, when I want and feel like it.” “Okay, you do what you want, but when you end up back in jail, don’t call me. You’re never going to learn, are you?” [Mom crying]


Mi vida

Mary Morales

Once upon a time, there lived a long, blond-haired girl who had a hard life. Her life was like a confused puzzle that needed to be put back together. Her mom was a bad drug abuser who also had a bad life. The young girl was raised by her older sister, who adopted her. The girl could not ever get over the things she went through as a child, so she turned to drugs for comfort. She was not young anymore. The years passed, and she got tired of her awful life. All she wanted to do was change and not follow her mom’s footsteps, so she called drug-treatment program after drug-treatment program until she was accepted. So she stayed for 60 days until they closed down. Then she decided that she was not ready to be out in the world on her own. She called another drug-treatment program and was there for 45 days until she was ready. She soon became stronger and stronger, to where nothing could get in the way of her starting her life all over again. This young girl is now going on 33 years old and almost one year sober. Clean sobriety. She is now a new mother, very happy and blessed. This person is me.

69


ignition: the starting Line Jessica González The smell of gasoline, exhaust smoke, and oil filled the air as cars drove along Broadway. Parked at an old abandoned dealership was a midnight-blue Nissan Skyline GT-R34, complete with spoiler, black rims, and a carbon-fiber hood. Two women sat on the hood. Charlie, the oldest of two sisters, wore her hair down, beige slacks, and a white blouse. The younger Francesca wore her hair up, black jeans, and a bright blue t-shirt emblazoned with the Superman logo. “This is Lone Star Dealership, huh?” Charlie asked. “Yeah, they moved to a better part of town,” Francesca said quietly. Charlie lowered her head and smiled. She moved her hands to the hood of the car, adjusting her weight. “Well, then I guess this is where we’ll start.” A warm breeze passed by, and the sound of the traffic nearby seemed to silence itself. Plastic bags and soda bottles rolled by like tumbleweeds in the desert. Turning to Charlie, Francesca said, “Start? What are you talking about?” A small chuckle came from Charlie. “Did you think I was joking last night? I’m serious, Frankie. I think it’s awesome that you want to be a Rally Racer. It makes me proud.” Francesca’s face lit up, and Charlie calmly continued. “I saw you the other day, at the Speedway…You’re alright, Frankie. You missed your moments to shift, though. You would’ve beaten your opponent if you’d known what to listen for.” Now Francesca’s face dimmed. “Oh, you saw that? Yeah, he had a Camaro. My CRX wasn’t really a match.” Charlie shook her head. “Look, it never matters what kind of car you drive,

70


Frankie. What always matters is how you drive that car.” She looked straight at Francesca. “And as my sister, I’ll show you exactly what I mean.” Silence fell between the two, then Charlie corrected herself: “No, I’ll teach you what I mean.” Francesca’s eyes went wide and her posture straightened as she looked at her older sister. “You mean it, Charlie?” Charlie gave a solemn nod. “I do.” Frankie leaped off the hood with joy, and Charlie couldn’t help but think: I remember being that happy, when driving was a burning passion, when all I wanted to be was the fastest. Now, all I want is to make sure Frankie doesn’t make the same mistakes I did when I went pro. Firmly, she said, “Time for your first lesson!” The joy on Francesca’s face was now mixed in with nerves, confusion, anticipation. “Wait...now?!” Charlie leaned away from the hood and walked toward the driver side. “Let’s go.” Francesca didn’t hesitate. She was ready. No, more than that, she wanted so badly to follow in her big sister’s footsteps, to make their mother just as proud. They drove away from the dealership all the way down Broadway and into downtown San Antonio, onto St. Mary’s and toward the Market Street garage, where Francesca’s pearl-white Honda CRX awaited them. Charlie parked her Skyline next to Francesca’s CRX. Shutting off the engine, she spoke in the gentle manner of a caring but cautious teacher. “I’ll be honest with you, sis, you’re not ready for the circuits—not yet, anyway.” Suddenly, a ferocity that Francesca hadn’t heard before came from Charlie. “Look, just because you’re my sister doesn’t mean that I’m going to take it easy on you. In fact, I’ll be that much harder!” a nod.

Their eyes locked. Francesca remained quiet, acknowledging Charlie with

They moved from the Skyline and into the CRX. The small hatchback hummed with its stock engine as it rolled out of the garage. As they drove from Market Street, down to Travis, Charlie started to give her lesson. “You ever wonder why some drivers stick with a car for years?” she asked as they rushed by Travis Park. “Kind of.” Francesca was focused on the road ahead as she turned onto Pecan, then Navarro. “You get to know your car, how it sounds when you shift up, shift down, when there’s something wrong.” Charlie paused, her voice steady. “Your car becomes part 71


of you, and it’s important that your CRX becomes part of you, Frankie, because I won’t invest any money into it until you can show me that you and this car are one.” There was a fiery aura about Charlie that every other driver but her own sister could recognize. All Francesca could do was shake her head, mostly in disbelief and partly because of nerves, and say, “Becoming one with the car? What kind of crap is that?” “The kind of crap that wins races, and the kind of crap that will get you to the circuits, Frankie girl.” Suddenly, Charlie’s hand was on top of Francesca’s. “You need to shift down. Now!” The motion was intense, nothing Francesca had ever experienced, a handgrip flowing through with energy. Taking a quick glance at Charlie, Francesca saw that her sister was no longer the person she knew. Charlie’s grip tightened over hers, and Francesca didn’t feel like a human was driving. now!”

Charlie forced her to shift. “Listen to your car, listen to its heartbeat—shift

Francesca didn’t know where to look—at the gearshift, at the rearview, at Charlie…? focus!”

“Don’t focus on me, Frankie! Focus on your car! Forget everything! Just

A fiery passion burned in Charlie as she watched her sister sit straight up in the driver’s seat. Keeping her hand on top of Francesca’s was key, and maybe, just maybe, she’d get it. I taught you better than this, Frankie. C’mon! This is stupid! Be one with the car…are you freakin’ serious? “Listen to your damn car! Shift!” Charlie shouted, her hand like a vise grip around Francesca’s. “Break and shift. It’s about timing, Frankie. You shift like that, and your car is done for!” Francesca wanted to scream. The hell, Charlie?! I’ve been driving this car for two years! How does she already know? Listen to the car? The hell is she talking about?!

Their thoughts sped. I know I’ve been gone, Frankie, I know. But listen! Listen to me now. Please! It was as if each sister could hear the other’s thoughts.

Francesca’s focus changed. She was trying to listen to the car, though she wasn’t sure what it was she was listening for, even as the Honda CRX roared with each gear change. Downtown San Antonio became her training ground, running up and down the parallel streets, racing through yellow lights, jumping off when the lights changed to green. Meanwhile, Charlie’s passion pumped as she moved her sister’s hand on the clutch. “Pay attention. When in doubt, shift up, and if you make a mistake, you can always down-shift—and always listen to your car, Frankie!” 72


And though Francesca couldn’t at first, soon she got the hang of it: I don’t hear—wait, wait…that’s it! I hear it! Every time she moves my hand, I hear it, all right. I think I’m starting to get it. If I miss it, I miss the time, because I’ll have to work to shift into gear again. So maybe it’s not crap. C’mon, baby, let me hear you scream! Charlie was screaming, too: “Focus on your car, Frankie, and drown me out. Just focus! Shift!” As Francesca instinctively began to shift, Charlie shouted, “That’s it! That’s it, keep going!” Soon, downtown became Francesca’s playground. She roared through the heart of the city, the engine sounding perfect with each shift as she followed her sister’s instructions. “Okay, time for your second lesson,” Charlie instructed, full of pride. You’re a fast learner. That’s good. Now, little sister, let’s put what you know to use. “Now, Frankie, take us back to the garage.” When they returned to the garage where they’d parked the CRX, the level was nearly empty. After the drive, Francesca noticed how faded the paint looked on her car under the dim sunlight bleeding through the cracks of the garage. She and Charlie stood beside their respective cars. “I won’t take it easy on you,” Charlie said. “I expect you to keep up. I want you to practice shifting and listening to your car.” Again, she had her hand on her hood, which was still warm. “Next, we’ll be tackling some hills. The steeper the hill or the heavier the car load, the longer you need to stay in low gear. When you hear your engine revving, you know you missed your up-shift.” “What’s so bad about revving your engine?” Francesca leaned up against her Honda as if reclaiming it. “Good way to fuck up your engine.” “Oh.” A smile spread across Charlie’s face as she walked around to the driver’s side of her Skyline. “Now, like I said, sis: try to keep up.” Francesca watched Charlie get into the Skyline and turn on the ignition. She followed suit into her own car, thinking, This! This is what I need…Charlie teaching me. I can’t fail! No one is better than Charlotte Battaglia, The Sky Queen! The two vehicles pealed out into Downtown San Antonio, their tires burning against asphalt. Blue against white were their reflections against the guardrails as they raced down the upper level of the IH-35. After Francesca shifted gears and wove in and out of traffic, Charlie smirked as she slid up two lanes ahead of Francesca. What the hell? thought Francesca. Did she just run across lanes?! On the highway?! Is she stupid?! 73


A few yards ahead, Charlie was thinking, Did you see that, li’l sis? Let’s see if you’re paying attention. Charlie waited for her opportunity and moved across multiple lanes with ease. Her hand flowed with the engine, moving the clutch like a maestro leading an orchestra. She relaxed in her bucket seat, her footwork like a dancer’s, with braking techniques only seen in Japan. All Francesca could do was watch and learn—she was a visual learner— and do her best to stay with Charlie. Sunlight gleamed off the hood of Francesca’s Honda as it pulled forward to Charlie’s Skyline, which easily slid back up. When Francesca looked over, she couldn’t believe it: there was Charlie resting her head on her left hand. ARGH! Here I am, trying to keep up, and Charlie’s practically asleep at the wheel! The hell? She’s right: it doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive, it’s how you dri—Screw that! Francesca worked the gears so that the rear-wheel drive pushed her small hatchback forward. She lead the way onto IH-35/10, an interchange that was dangerous in and of itself, whose concrete barriers were marked black from where others had met their ends. Moving in faster than she could control, Francesca held on tightly and made a drift into the curve. What are you, stupid?! thought Charlie. Goddamn it, Frankie! She shifted quickly and drifted in next to her younger sister, forcing Francesca to hold the drift. You could kill someone! You just better hope there’s not a cop around and be damn glad the body of my car shadows yours! With this drift, the four-wheel drive of Charlie’s Skyline barely yawned, while Francesca’s CRX nearly screamed. When the sisters were finally driving side-by-side, Charlie signaled for Francesca to pull over.

74


75


About the Writer in Residence Nelly Rosario’s novel, Song of the Water Saints (Jenny Minton/Pantheon, 2002), was awarded a PEN/Open Book Award. Rosario was the recipient of the 2008 Sherwood Anderson Award in Fiction and, recently, a Howard Foundation Fellowship and the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Award. She received her MFA from Columbia University. Currently, she is a bi-weekly columnist for the Spanishlanguage newspaper El Diario/La Prensa and teaches creative writing in the MFA Program at Texas State University in San Marcos, where she lives with her daughter.

76


77


A FOCUS ON READING AND WRITING FOR ALL Gemini Ink nurtures writers and readers and builds community through literature and the related arts. At Gemini Ink we believe human story in all its diverse and complicated forms and genres—from poetry and fiction to memoir and oral tradition— is essential to developing compassion and richness in both individual and community life. We encourage focused reading, writing, and exchange at every level, from elementary school students to incarcerated youth and from the polished professional to the elder who has always wanted to record her family stories. Annually, our four programs serve an average of 5,000 patrons. Writers in Communities (WIC) sends professional writers into diverse community settings—shelters, schools, neighborhood centers, and detention facilities—to work alongside students of all ages, needs, interests, and abilities. These workshops—always free to participants—focus on oral traditions, reading, and creative writing, and because we publish work by each student, represent for many their first acknowledged success with language. Open Classroom, comprising Autograph Series and the new Breakthrough Thinkers, presents writers of national and international stature—many of them recipients of major prizes such as the Pulitzer or National Book Award—in free public performances followed by audience Q&A. University Without Walls (UWW) offers three semesters of fee-based reading groups and workshops and also many free literary events, all led by professional writers, scholars, and interdisciplinary artists. We offer classes with successful, interesting, and thought-provoking writers from all genres. Gemini Ink’s Dramatic Readers Theater (DRT) is presented in two formats. The original format features professional actors interpreting existing literary works in free performances, often accompanied by original music. The second format, Writers Respond to Art, presents three writers reading their original writing inspired by works of visual art and also highlighted with music. Contributions and donations of time and resources are gratefully accepted. For more information about Gemini Ink, Visit geminiink.org or call 210-734-9673

78


79


Motherhood is woman’s word made flesh through her process of editing and revising multiple lives: her child’s and her own. This is an anthology of writing by seven women whose personal hopes for a better future are secured in baby carriers and car seats. These writers are at a crossroads: they live in a shelter for mothers of children under two years old in San Antonio, Texas. Guadalupe Home gives a second chance to mothers and their babies who have become homeless for whatever reason. Ranging in ages and backgrounds, what the women all share are the challenges and joys that come with steering another human being while trying to address their own needs. Mother Tongue captures the intents, passions, imagery, rhythms, and thoughts of women whose quiet triumphs often go unnoticed, even by them. -Nelly Rosario, Gemini Ink Writer-in-Residence, and author of Song of the Water Saints

513 S. Presa San Antonio, Texas 78205 877.734.9673 geminiink.org 80


Mother Tongue Idioma Materno  

Poetry, Prose and Photographs by Mothers at Guadalupe Home in San Antonio, Texas. In partnership with Gemini ink, the Literary Arts Center.

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you