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Pat Mora


Elena


My Spanish isn`t good enough
I remember how I`d smile
Listening 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 at 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,
Embarrased at mispronouncing words,
Embarrased 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.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 29, 2008

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