Jean Marie Ruiz

Rookie (California)

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Jean Marie Ruiz is a native of Los Angeles, California who lives in Western Massachusetts, where she coordinates the annual WriteAngles conference by and for writers. She holds an MFA in English (Fiction) from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She thanks Kate Braverman, the late Les Plesko, and fellow members of their writing workshops for their support and inspiration. more »

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Best Poem of Jean Marie Ruiz


My mother loved tulips.
In December her body waits
in a mortuary with
liver-rotted men and their cholo sons
laid out for burial
in lipstick-stained dress shirts.
By January she will be in an urn
unsuitable for display
packed into a box
wrapped in white paper
handed to me like a gift.

Two days after my mother dies,
a dozen dark pink roses arrive
from my mother's sister,
the one who didn't get there in time
to see her before she died,
who asked my cousin
to give my mother's hand
one last squeeze.
The roses should be from a ...

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