Holiday 2015 - THE POTOMAC

Two Poems


Ana Maria Caballero

The Open Dishwasher

Today, you fell face first into the open dishwasher

One plastic prong bruised your nose
Another gave you your first black eye

I rushed to cradle you like a new born
And sing your falling down song

Then I took you outside to show you
The birds, the lizards
The cloudless blue sky
And the moon, your moon, visible today at noon

The moon made you calm
Luna, luna you said
And pointed up
At the cloudless blue sky

I sat you down close to me
Ready to hold you
If you still needed my arms

But you looked at the white powder moon
At a lizard that dashed from the bush
And at crests of neat waves rising in the pool

After a moment, you sighed
Your first veteran sigh

Just yesterday
I checked the classifieds
For work I might be paid to do

I do this sometimes
To confirm I remain hirable
And am more than this lullaby mother

Who sits with her child
To be soothed by the moon

Sick Talk

My father's illness is so close I do not write about it. This is not writing about it. If I
were writing about it, you would know. It would be like your father having a stroke
and your mother closing her life. It would be about diapers and nurses and therapy.
And about your mother insisting because she opens her life sometimes to see if it is still closed.

More things must happen before I can make meaning from the bad remembering.
Right now, I remember it all, and I cannot write about it all. It would mean nothing to
you. Like my monologue for when people ask:

First we talk about saying hello. Then, we speak about my baby or their baby or yours.
But, when street words run out, I am forced to summarize a sick father to shroud
silence that never did anything wrong.

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