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Vers 13, Judith Ortiz Cofer

Mamacita

[...]
Mamacita's wordless song was her connection to the oversoul, her link with life, her mantra,
a lifeline to her own Laughing Buddha,
as she dragged her broom
across a lifetime of linoleum floors.



Orar: To Pray

After thehissed pleas, denunciations -
the children just tucked in -
perhaps her hand on his dress-shirt sleeve,
brushed off, leaving a trace of cologne,
impossible, it seemed, to wash off
with plain soap, he'd go, his feet light
on the gravel. In their room, she'd fall
on her knees to say prayers composed
to sound like praise; following
her mother's warning never to make demands
outright from God nor a man.


On the other side of the thin wall,
I lay listening to the sounds I recognised
from an early age: knees on wood, shifting
the pain so the floor creaked, and a woman's
conversation with the wind - that carried
her sad voice out of the open window
to me. And her words - if they did not rise
to heaven, fell on my chest, where they are
embedded l…