I’ve lived in this city for awhile now, and that’s fine
but in the late Spring when the sun begins
to darken my skin again
I get homesick for places I’ve been.
The carnival when I was ten
money was tight which made it hard to take
four kids at once, but one day they sent me and my sisters
the beautiful glow made me think of stars
we rode the spinning teacups, rotating the wheel faster
and faster and faster
giggles and squeals filled the air.
The first snow and only snow I’ve ever seen
came when I was small and lean
my daddy called us over, a rarely seen
smile hung on his face, not angry, not mean.
I wondered “What did I do this time?”
He opened the door and I saw a brilliant white blanket
barefoot, we hit
the ground running, the crunch of soft ice bit
into my feet. I didn’t care, I enjoyed the cold grit.
The sweaty boy from the track meet when I was fourteen
sitting in the grass arms stretched out behind us
relaxing on our scrawny elbows where no one could find us
he asked if I’ve ever been kissed and I began to fuss
with my hands when my mamá called me over with distrust.
The nervousness of running into a cornfield
to steal some food for the week
I was sixteen and knew better but we had to eat
corn was grown for cows but when you’re hungry it tastes sweet
we ran between the blurred rows, a green and yellow fleet
shoving ears into our backpacks
we would have to clean it later
to make sure it was clear of caterpillars
that liked to make their way into the corn, tiny traitors.
These moments are precious to me and are growing fainter
with each new memory, to think I had once wished to forget,
I know one day they’ll be lost to the wind and the ground
the memories of a poor brown
girl, but nothing and no one, not even God, can drown
out the fact that we lived and that we were unbound.
Photo: In front of me by ElMarto [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]