after Maggie Smith
Life is short, and I tell this to mis hijas.
Life is short, & I show them how to talk
to police without opening the door, how
to leave the social security number blank
on the exam, I tell this to mis hijas.
This world tells them I hate you every day
& I don’t keep this from mis hijas
because of the bus driver who kicks them
to the street for fare evasion. Because I love
mis hijas, I keep them from men who’d knock
their heads together just to hear the chime.
Life is short & the world is terrible. I know
no kind strangers in this country who aren’t
sisters a desert away, & I don’t keep this
from mis hijas. It’s not my job to sell
them the world, but to keep them safe
in case I get deported. Our first
landlord said with a bucket of bleach
the mold would come right off. He shook
mis hijas, said they had good bones
for hard work. Mi’jas, could we make this place
beautiful? I tried to make this place beautiful.
Strength & Resilience
A poem where the form, theme, subject, style, or line(s) is inspired by the work another poet.
a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line
the repetition of a word or phrase at the end of successive clauses
a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic
a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times