Monday, April 23, 2012

Pat Mora, "Elena" (poetry journal)

I've read this on tumblr, amazed on how its done..

Pat Mora, “Elena”
My Spanish isn’t good enough
I remember how I’d smile
listening to my little ones
understanding every word they’d say,
their jokes, their songs, their plots
       Vamos a pedirle dulces a mama. Vamos. 
But that was in Mexico.
Now my children go to American high schools.
They speak English. At night they sit around
the kitchen table, laugh with one another.
I stand by the stove and feel dumb, alone.
I bought a book to learn English.
My husband frowned, drank more beer.
My oldest said, “Mama, he doesn’t want you
to be smarter than he is” I’m forty,
embarrassed at mispronouncing words,
embarrassed at the laughter of my children,
the grocery, the mailman. Sometimes I take
my English book and lock myself in the bathroom,
say the thick words softly,
for if I stop trying, I will be deaf
when my children need my help.