By | 1 February 2022

They asked me once
what it was like to have no blood connections known
no sadness or loneliness shared
no cousins, no aunties, no mother, no father
to have prayed to the wrong ancestor most of my life
Oh, how people like to assume
asume lo peor siempre que es mejor, the man who raised me used to say
but he was wrong they are wrong


When the man who raised me died
the tiny bones he had buried in our home garden remained
there was the white Boxer dog who welcomed me back home from school every day
the grey cat always too scared of my childhood games
the unborn sister I named Alice
and, oh, how many secrets we shared
how many games we played
ugly ducklings
apple-poisoned princesses
Thumbelina rescued by a blue bird
Hansel & Gretel trying to find a home our home
the road marked with empty snail shells
we got lost, but we found it
nuestro hogar
Large windows and stone walls
blue carpets and the scent of mould
The white dog rests in its garden
the cat basks in the sun
the ghost of the unborn five-month-old smiles
bones the length of a banana mixed with the remains of childhood dreams
My dreams los sueños de la casa
overseen by the ghost of the elderly woman who called herself my grandmother
She died there in one of those rooms with blue carpets
She didn’t look peaceful, her eyes scared until a gentle hand closed them
Abuela chosen ancestor
smoking Marlboro reds from the window of the room where she died
waving to her yerno – the one who died too soon
the one who brought me to her and told her I needed a limpia and
a home arms to hold me
an abuela
to feed me
Did my birth mother ever feed me?
[when I meet her ghost … when I meet her ghost]


Five lonely ghosts remembered by adopted kin
They travel every year
Así de la tierra de los muertos
y compartimos historias
y el perro blanco me lame las heridas
y el gato se enconde bajo la cama de mi hijo
and I smoke Marlboros
Alice plays with my daughter’s hair
my father asks for forgiveness
most secrets are too heavy to be turned into ashes


New apartment buildings now cover the bones of an unborn girl and two pets
A man’s and his suegra’s ashes share the space at a church that no one ever visits
Their secrets covered in dust
But who will visit my ashes?
Spread them instead
Take some to my dog and unborn sister but don’t scare the cat
leave some next to papá and abuela
throw the rest to the sea
allí, flotando un mar de ancestros

This entry was posted in 104: KIN and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Related work:

  • No Related Posts Found

Comments are closed.