mi querida mami sways from side to side
holding herself while looking up at the ceiling fan
in the darkness of our little kitchen, with the sink water running

she mutters avemarías y padre nuestros and swears that tonight is it
tonight is the night we’ll all run into the night holding hands
without him.
without my father.

ten minutes later i don’t hear the sink water running anymore.
she mumbles, hoy no. the children are still in school,
she has to go to la fábrica tomorrow, he financially supports us–
this isn’t so bad.

we’ll leave some other time, she says. ya casi.
she’s said this in our small yellow bathroom,
in our cluttered bedroom.
we tell ourselves too
que ya casi.

meanings of spanish phrases:

mi querida mami: my dear mom
avemarías y padre nuestros: hail mary and our father prayers
hoy no: not today
la fábrica: the factory
ya casi: almost


6 thoughts on “swings

  1. It’s lovely to see you back! Wow, this was dark. I got chills reading through it. Domestic abuse as seen through the innocent eyes of a child. Everything and nothing is being said here, and that’s the beauty of it. We are left wondering how it ends while also dreading it.

    I still want to write that story about domestic violence through the eyes of a little girl. I hope it’s as poignant as your poem. Right now I’m still revising that suicide story XD I took a few months off of writing since I started a new job, but things have become easier again. I remember college being very busy too, but that’s life I suppose 😛

    • Awww, you’re too kind! Thank you so much. 🙂 I know, I’m glad to be back too, or to have at least written something. I’ve been so busy with school and looking for jobs for post-grad (this upcoming semester will be my last one). And although we are really busy, we should try to make time for our passions!

      Congratulations on your new job by the way :). I understand that it’s hard to juggle writing and work. But whenever you find time, I’d like to see what you post 😉 I’m sure whatever you write will be touching, I have always enjoyed your work and believed it to be thought-provoking.

  2. Job hunting is so stressful! So is starting a new one, but it’s a different kind of stress. I was almost fired, so I’ve had to spend a lot of time studying to make up for those three years I couldn’t work. But things are stabilizing now and the job is becoming easier 🙂 The chronic pain has been difficult to handle. I’m a floating pharmacist right now, so I’m trying to cut down to 8 days of work in two weeks versus 10. I enjoy work but it’s really hard on my body :$ My husband and I want to try to start a family soon so the less stress and pain, the better!

    On the plus side I now have money to buy stuff 🙂 I just bought several issues of the literary magazine, “Glimmer Train.” So far the writing has been great. I don’t think mine is good enough for publication there, but I’m learning a lot in the process ^^ Also, it makes me feel good to support literary magazines, which in turn help support budding authors. At least Glimmer Train does.

    Right now I’m still revising that suicide story XD I took a few months off from writing, so I’m trying to get back into it with editing. I can’t post it online though because I want to submit it to literary magazines :/ This is the final draft though. I’d love it if you could look over it as a whole when you have time :$ I have your e-mail. It’s okay if you are too busy though! I guess right now I’m looking more for a general opinion if that makes any sense. It’s gone through so many revisions at this point that it’s different from my original vision. With this final draft I’m mostly cutting and trying to bring it back to the essence of the first draft. My goal is to cut 1-2k out of the story to make it more powerful. Also, short stories between 3-5k are more publishable than 6k.

    My next writing goal is an overhaul of the bleeding heart story. Oy, I feel like the slowest writer on the planet sometimes :$

    • It is really stressful! I’m so glad that the job is becoming easier, especially since it wasn’t easy doing it when it wasn’t your fault that you couldn’t perform well. And I agree that hopefully things slow down so that you all could start a family, stress-free!

      I should check out that literary magazine, I don’t think I’ve heard of it. I’m sure that if you work hard enough at it, you definitely have a shot at being in the magazine. It doesn’t hurt to try! Even if some people may not see your work as awesome, others will (such as the folks who follow your blog).

      Also, if you’d like you can send it to me and I can look it over before I go to school. I’m sure you made some great progress and that it’s even better from what I read last time! I’m so excited to read it (if you’re still willing to share). Haha, I feel the same way about being a slow writer. It takes me forever to write one of these poems!

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