Wednesday, May 18, 2016

“the lady I know”

she was born on the island of enchantment
where the water is always clear blue
in the first years she grew up eating
mangos and platanos, watching her mother
cook arroz con gandules or garbanzos
which she always hated

at nine she left her mother and island behind
moved to the mainland with her father and brother
to start a new life in Philadelphia – riding trolleys
to Catholic schools, chatting with friends
on stoops or spending the afternoon at
the movie theater for a just few coins

she became an adult in New Jersey and
married a son of North Carolina sharecroppers
they made a home with two kids – one sickly
who would become the center of her universe
turning life upside down at times but still
had memories to cherish for lifetimes

despite the passing years of various jobs
to make ends meet or being a caregiver
to all those in need - losing a number of
relatives and friends and still counting
her pennies, she never once lost her faith
and keeps her eyes on an eternal prize

 platanos – plaintain
arroz con gandules – rice with pigeon peas
garbanzos – chickpeas

- Written for dVerse Poetic Tuesday where we were challenged to write a poem about a character describing them through their actions.


  1. "she never once lost her faith and keeps her eyes on an eternal prize..." ~you've paint us a lovely picture of the lady you once knew and still are. Poignantly written. A lot of memories to dwell here... :)

  2. This is so lovely.. such a strong woman, I love how you pulled me into it, giving the background and the place through food...

    1. Yes food can do that. Thanks for reading.

  3. Sounds like a life that has tasted and adapted to many varieties of environment. A woman with staying power and grit.

  4. Sounds like a woman who knew how to make the best of any situation.

  5. Tributes such as this is why I posed this prompt. A wonderful nod to a very good influence! Very nice, Arcadia!

    1. Thank you Walt. I wasn't sure if I could do this prompt but the words started coming to me.