—Victoria Rodriguez, Sacramento
Wrinkles and veins
Working in factories and putting clothes
On her nine children
Cutting nopales in that way
I love to see her
Work that knife.
Sewing us clothes,
Making her own tablecloths and curtains
Rearranging pictures of family
And always making room for
The new additions.
Doing the loving,
Dialing everyone on their birthday
Just to talk to them a while.
Laundry up and down outside on her line.
My grandma’s hands constantly
Moving. We wouldn’t know her without.
She wouldn’t either.
Thanks, Victoria! Victoria Rodriguez lives in Sacramento, where she is on her way to receive her B.A. in English from CSUS. She loves writing, going on adventures and spending time with her family. Watch for more of Victoria's work in the new Rattlesnake Press online anthology, The Ophidian, coming soon to a computer near you.
Does your life ever feel likes it's "dead in the water": do you get the doldrums (no wind in your sails), as they say on the sea? The doldrums can be a blessing in disguise, of course—time to re-think, re-pair, re-group. The Winds of Change will blow back into life soon enough; they always do.
It seems to me that The Winds of Change are a good topic to think about for July 4. I think we could all use a little change in this country right now, whether you’re left-wing, right-wing, independent… And what about the more personal Winds of Change? What do they mean in your life? Are you looking for change these days, or dreading it? Are you headed in a direction you want to take, or do you need to switch courses? Or is there even any such thing as change at all?—is it true that “The more things change, the more they stay the same?” What about the changes that go on inside, vs. the ones that happen outside, and the interchange between?
Anyway, our Seed of the Week is The Winds of Change. Have at it, and send your poems to email@example.com or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726.
Victoria talks about the inside kind of change:
Here I started walking on Halloween
Here I sat with my dad watching hours of T.V.
Here I argued with my boyfriend over the way I pronounce T.V.
Here I let the juice from plums succumb to gravity down my face.
Here I sold cigarettes and booze for those who I’m sure would pick these over water in a heartbeat
Here I felt like I shouldn’t have ever come
Here I felt at home
Here I thought of my first house
Here I think of my parents young and their days full of happiness
Here I like pink now!
Here I like pink sometimes
Here I hate pink.
Mom keeps the outside light on.
The one on the porch; i think it's for Mike,
but once he's here
I ask her if she wants me
to turn it off.
Slowly, she says no.
It makes me believe she keeps
it on for you.
So you can find your way home &
know that we will
It’s not like it’s a lotta money
It’s not like it’s a long ways away
It’s not like it’s that noticeable
It’s not like they haven’t heard that one before
It’s not like you messed up your life
It’s not like it’s that big of a deal,
I mean, come on, it's not like brain surgery.
It was three of them.
I never used to cry. Lately I’ve gotten back to that not-crying stage.
Too tired, too weak.
Whenever I would see the scar on the right side of his head, I would grow weak at the knees.
And at the heart.
I would have to walk away.
Looking at old pictures of what he used to look like, thinking of what he would have said right now, at this moment, just takes too much effort.
“Your dad is still there, he’s still here, that’s still him.”
Yes and no.
My dad would not have kicked me out of the house three times.
My dad would be outside working on the cars, yard, garage.
I miss those weeks he would take off of work, just to spend time with us during
our breaks from school.
My friends threw me a surprise birthday party when I turned sixteen.
“I would be crying right now!” one said. I tried to cry. I really did.
Don’t get me wrong; I was very honored and felt lucky to have friends like these.
But the tears wouldn’t come.
do they come too easily now.
My mother tells me when my
Brother was born,
That I was jealous and the first thing I did
Was walk right up to him and pull on his nose.
I am cursed for that since I am the one
Walking around now
With the obscene
He keeps a moth in his wallet to remember the past.