votive candles

20140804-114139-42099843.jpgI buy votive candles now

It once annoyed me that she always asked for them, lit them and forgot sometimes
A light to protect us.

I seek them out in yellow and white

She would speak of guardian angels and blessings and Church
I would roll my eyes feeling superior to her.


I light them and say a prayer now, asking for forgiveness for not understanding, for being impatient.

I would like one more day
to kiss her forehead
to see her hand give me a blessing as I drive away
to hear her tell me that her bones ache
    and ask me if I was pregnant or fat
to see her smile at my children

I buy votive candles now
   in yellow and white
   and ask her to continue blessing me.



long life

lost souls
her motherless children
sit forlorn remarking at others comments of our fortune
having had her for so long
the unexpected gap left by her absence is inexplicable
as others share their own grief
their wonder at her long life
we sit not knowing any more
what our schedules are like
how we should walk when the ground feels so soft under our feet


Gracias –

for my grandmother…


I stand before you simply to say thank you. The daily prayer I say that never seems like enough and yet is all-encompassing.

Thank you for daily reminding me of strength, for showing me the capacity of a body, a mind, and a spirit.

Mija, Rosana, Rosanita – was not easy. She was critical and stubborn; makes me believe that there is something about these traits that may lead to longevity.

She was also deeply loyal, proud, and generous with her time.

She told me to cry when I needed to cry. To marry for love no matter what. To forgive, take my vitamins, move my body, listen to music, keep good company, and to dress slowly when I was in a hurry.

Her last word to me on Thursday night was GRACIAS. I will say thank you to you, Mija, daily for the lessons in gratitude.




a bit of this
seems called for
this year

as bodies double over
in order to allow
spirits to rest

I find myself wondering
why we believe in those
that are unkind and in power
of trusting the ones who live
daily crafting existence with so little

seems to me that those living
in the streets, in the fields
under corrugated aluminum
know more than the experts
under fluorescence

while in pursuit
we choose false light
instead of trusting
the seed’s truth


holding on

although it feels like the walls
are caving in, tilting towards
dark, black ice
under my feet

I see why I need to be here
yet feel like I could crawl up
the walls in despair
the siren song of the tallest bridge
on the Raritan calls to me
I hold onto the sofa
praying for my self to return
afraid this is really me
texting Faith asking her
to visit for a while

I write this plea
my little girl screams
bloody mouth and hands
reminding me
a loose tooth
grounds me, Faith wears
interesting guises