Are you the woman who worked on her feet
all day as factory forelady
yet danced at night to a mambo beat
and never said no
when I wanted to go
for a wild west movie
or an ice cream soda?
Time is sadistic, mother.
It whittles the unseen molecule
to steal, in bits, your self esteem
by making you fearful of small activity.
Bending is punished with spasm or swollen knee.
It shrivels, shrinks and deafens you.
Time is also torturing me,
weakens my heart to reconcile
your former smooth-skinned energy
with what my eyes now see.
It floods my thoughts with loss and exile,
the vinegary taste of your mortality.
—from Rattle #12, Winter 1999
Tribute to Latino & Chicano Writers
Evangeline Blanco: “For the brief period I remain my present self, a Puerto Rican female banker with ninety-year-old parents. My work reflects my roots, touching on the sore scabs of bigotry endured in school and the workplace. Other work is a sharing of ancestors and descendants, flashing a wry smile at love’s illusions and time’s assault on mind, body, and dignity.”