My Miriam, in Cuba.

If Miriam were alive
(she is not)
She would not notice and suffer today
(like we do)
and remember the day, the awful day
(They took her. No. We let her go.)

If she had lived
(but she did not, she could not)
I think she would love my 5" high shoes with roses
(which I think she does)
And I would make her laugh
(which I do).

And I think, no I am sure
(she smelled of gardenias and wore white)
she would be dancing
(she is, in Cuba). 

White Carnation Mother's Day

Happy Day!

In Cuba on Mothers Day, women wear a red carnation if their mother
is alive, and a white carnation if their mother is dead.

This morning Abuelo gave my mom a hug and a white carnation.

When she told me this, I laughed until I forgot no one cooked me
breakfast around here.

8 Balls and Handcuffs

They come back wired and happy from an afternoon with their dad.

Zoe shows off her new totally unnecessary (soon to be ignored)  Magic 8 Ball.

Zack flashes his new gun and handcuffs which "really lock, for real Mom, they LOCK with keys, isn't this cool?"

I don't tell him what I really think of the toys, but smile with relief at their distraction and get back to grading.

About twenty essays later, I pause to hunt for a fresh  a pen. (This is a sport of mine)

In the living room I pass Zoe, hands behind her back, Zack ignoring her half-laughing please for help.

Then he stands over her like a mad jailer, takes her new toy, shakes it and asks, "Magic 8 Ball, will she ever be released from the handcuffs?"

Zoe screamed in protest, and I dashed back to grading final exams.