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Details | Cousin Poem | |

PLEASE

~PLEASE~
 
Please pick me up!
Never mind I'm gonna fall, anyways
 
Please show me how to tie my shoes and sing a song! 
Don't worry mommy, I'll walk barefoot and teach myself one day
 
Please daddy show me how to ride my bike!
Never mind It takes up too much of your time
 
Mommy, please do not hit me again!
It's okay, I need to be taught a lesson
 
Cousin please do not touch!
Go ahead, they won't believe me anyway
 
Teacher, please defend me in school!
Never mind, my body is used to the abuse
 
Please don't tell me sleeping with you is the only way! 
Okay, I need to be loved even if it's for one night
 
Please teach me how to raise a baby!
It's okay, I can't blame others for my mistake
 
Please don't get violent when you drink tonight!'
If it makes you feel better hit me, 
I'll hide the bruise with makeup & tears
 
Please tell me that I'm beautiful!
Wait! Your right I'll never look like her!
 
Please someone call 911!
Never mind, it's only a broken bone
 
Officer, please don't take my husband?
Don't you know it was my fault, he loves me and won't hit me again
 
Please don't ask what happen to my face!
That's what I get for standing up and defending myself
 
Please God don't take my baby!
Go ahead and take her I don't deserve her
 
Please don't tell me your not in love with me!
I understand I'll never be worthy of your heart
 
Please don't walk away and break my heart!
It's okay, I never made progress or was good enough
 
Please someone help, I'm hurting inside!
Never mind my feelings don't count
 
Please God, can you hear me!
Please God, can you rescue me!
Please God, can you walk with me!
Please God, can you show me the way!
 
God- I was a baby, I was weak, and did not talk
God- you didn't protect me on my first fall
God- I was abandoned and neglected before I learned to crawl!
God- even you rejected all my prayers and call
 
I understand now I don't need nothing! 
I don't need no one at ALL
So PLEASE, PLEASE leave me alone, behind these walls 
.                              **
Please! If you read this teach me how to smile
WAIT! Smiles don't come with self blame & guilt

by;PD

Details | Cousin Poem | |

My Big Fat Cousin's Wedding

My favorite cousin named Marge is almost as big as a barge. So one would assume, not knowing the groom, the guy would most likely be large. But he was a small man named Tim “As thin as a broom” describes him. While Marge would guffaw, Tim would watch her with awe and just smile for he was so prim! When the preacher addressed him and said, “You may now kiss the bride,” Tim turned red, for their lips could not meet. With high heels on her feet, Marge stood towering over his head. She leaned down while Tim stood on his toes, but for being in such a strange pose, Marge then came toppling down crushing Tim neath her gown while the whole church erupted in “Ohhhhh’s.” All was well, and thereafter, we ate; then we planned next to dance until late. But none could foresee the small tragedy that had us all leaving by eight! Marge had tossed off her heels for a glide on the dance floor, but when they both tried to dance, Tim got snagged by that dang gown and dragged as his bride was beginning to slide. . . Now shoeless, poor Marge could not stop. Toward a table with candles on top, they slid, and the groom then set fire to the room by landing with a belly flop. Poor Tim by the candles got lit, and we were all having a fit, for the fire got spread fast till the Best Man at last got us all wet extinguishing it! Inspired by the title of the movie: My Big Fat Greek Wedding & : Joann Grisetti's "My Cousin's Wedding" Poetry contest

Details | Cousin Poem | |

Massacred Nation

The year 1890
December 29th
Wounded Knee, South Dakota
My tribe lost their lives

The USS 7th
On their orders so
To round up the Sioux
Railroad herd them and go

Us Lakota were next
To disarm their request
But my cousin Black Coyote
At best he was deaf

Not hearing the orders
To lay down our guns
A chain reaction
Ensued on my tribal ones

Chaos and mayhem
Distressed our grounds
This proud nation
Beaten down

Men, women and children
300 slain
Another reminder
For the white mans gain

To disrespect the fallen
Slows our souls to our gods
We were left in a blizzard
Hardened like logs

In three days we rose
Civilians did lift
And dumped us unceremoniously
In a hole in the drift

My corpse and my peoples
Stripped and robbed
As flakes of snow
Confirm our spirits have sobbed

As i am reborn again
In another country
It gives me the freedom
To look back and see

That December day in 1890
Gunning down innocent ones
Not so mighty
The Medal of Honor
In their distinguished past
The record still stands
On their chests they flash

But attitudes change
As two centuries pass
The Medal Of Honor
Has won back its class
No longer the weak
Gunned down by the strong
Its man against man
Sometimes they do wrong

So as i sit back in my adopted nation
Will i live again past this lives station
Writing the wrongs of modern man
This Lakota warrior who never ran


http://www.thehighlanderspoems.com/native-americans.php

Details | Cousin Poem | |

My Cousin's Wedding

My cousin shared her wishes and dreams, On our star gazing night, she whispered them so sweet As a shooting star glided down from the sky, She said, I wish ….. I wish…. all I wish are these tonight Someday, I will marry a smart, rich and handsome guy And have a grandiose banquet on my nuptial rite We’ll be dancing like a lovely prince and princess , With all my wedding sponsors on their best suits and dresses All in pink ,that’s the motif I will surely request. She kept into her dreams as several years passed by, Still searching for her prince charming who’s hard to find Unconsciously going beyond the age to give birth to a child, In a hurry at age of seventy, she took a rich ninety years old guy. The wedding was held after a day or two, The guy seated on his wheelchair with rheumatism on his toe She headed slowly at the alter to accept his shaking hands, Two nurses followed, so with sponsors dressed up in printed brown. The highlight of the wedding rite started at once, They held tightly with a nebulizers on the other hands, But the words of oath, they took time to pronounce False teeth were both misplaced and nowhere to be found. Reception followed grandiosely in the guy’s mansion, I saw many old men and women still eager to dance on the floor, With hunched back, shaking knees, they twisted rock and roll Then, sweet music played and my cousin danced with her groom. But, we all wondered how did he stand alone? He’s so heavy , I knew my cousin couldn’t help him at all, With our great surprise, his nurse was at his side like his crutch Everyone thought , he’s really a smart guy! Was he not? Then, everyone followed them so happily on the spacious hall, And in trio, they held each other so tight and moved like a fool.
Written: Sept. 15, 2012 First Place Contest: My Cousin's Wedding (funny poem) Contest Judged: 9/30/2012 Poet Sponsor: Joann Grisetti

Details | Cousin Poem | |

The large blue swing

It was really a simple thing
Four chains holding a large plank 
Suspended from the ceiling
A big blue swing

Summer at its peak
Heat touching 45 degrees
Cousins all crammed up 
On a large blue swing

Listening to granny’s stories
The distant fan slowly whirring
Laughing and giggling at nothing 
On a large blue swing

Plate in hand my brother would sit at its end
Pretending to drive an airplane
Never knew planes did not have steering
On the large blue swing

Sometimes when no one was around
I’d sit on it with outstretched hands
Barely touching both its ends yet feeling like a queen
On a large blue swing

With my favourite cousin sometimes I’d sit
Munching hot salted peanuts
Pouring out our deepest secrets 
On a large blue swing

At noon in granny’s lap I’d lie
And listen to her lullaby
Soon asleep, without a worry in life
On a large blue swing

Like the swing her hopes never ran high
She spoke to me of days gone by
Looking beautiful, despite a toothless smile
On a large blue swing.

Today it is no more there
With grandma it slowly passed away
But memories still remain 
On the large blue swing.

Details | Cousin Poem | |

IF I RULED THE WORLD

If I ruled the world,
I'd round up all the men.
Send them to Afghanistan,
...And nuke the place again,
and again.

I'd collect and burn,
All the world's monies
And make sex slaves,
Of all the honeys

I would kill all the ugly ones
Well save one or two
So when I'm drunk I'll say
'Shit you look good to scr3w'

I suppose you wanted everyone,
To live in peace on the earth?
But believe me, if I ruled
That would be all a myth

But I'm sure after fifty years
Of all that sex slaving
Everyone will be related
And there would be no misbehaving

Because I will make sure 
Brother does not kill brother
And to women, the children
Will call all of them mother

To me, you guessed it
They will call me father

So I don't need riches or power
Or greed, just lust
I don't need gold or diamonds 
Only women with a 42DD bust.......

**Requested by my Cousin Michelle**

Details | Cousin Poem | |

Our little Haven

When I was just a little girl
With mind as always, in a whirl
Me and my cousin, we would roam
Far, far away from my sweet home

We'd make our way to some rocks we knew
All covered by green moss, we two
Oh it was such a magic place
And left huge smiles upon my face

To us it was a fairyland
With imagination vast and grand
We both saw fairies, little elves too
Dancing daintily as they do

When that time came, we had to leave
Both our little hearts would grieve
We'd leave that haven, her and me
Our minds brim filled with memories

So we went back to normalcy
And though it made us both unhappy
We knew that soon we'd go back there
And see those we folk everywhere


Details | Cousin Poem | |

Death In Chicago

She wrote a letter 
Which I happily read
In Spring
Summer baked on
Autumn arrived with a chill in the air
Winter followed with snow 
Then the call came
Aunt Stella had passed away
Two months shy of her eighty-seventh birthday
Could I travel to Chicago for the funeral? 
My cousin’s voice  
Was anxious
Time was short
I would have to leave tomorrow.

The wind brought tears to my eyes
And I remembered why
Chicago was called the windy city.
The funeral was surreal
My cousin and I were lost in the room
Our voices echoed in the chamber
We were the only attendees
Where was the rest of the family
The funeral director nodded
He understood
More than we did.

Before the sad procession to the cemetery 
We walked to her house
In no particular hurry 
Talked old times
Remembered when
There, nestled under trees
We peered through 
Rain stained windows
Looked inside an empty house
Sunlight streaming through a den door facing a back garden
We left quietly.

At the cemetery there was a delay
Impulsively
I began reading headstones 
At random
Nearby were three
Aligned in a row 
Each with the same last name
Following its own order of death 
I made out a father, an uncle 
And a young boy
Age ten
Standing over his grave
I caught a glimpse of something faded red and metallic
Chipping the frozen ground 
I saw
Buried 
A toy truck
How long had it been there
I could only guess.

As the Priest mumbled
Half forgotten Catholic prayers
I bent down and carefully
Pressed the toy
Back into the cold 
Brittle earth
As it was
Meant to be
Years and years ago.

When the service ended
We looked at each other
My cousin and I
Thoughts and deeds
Of long ago
Brought back memories
I called out to him
Look after yourself.
He smiled and turned 
You visit. Stay in touch.
The Priest remained
Where he was
The cold winter sun
Reflecting his bright colored vestments.

Details | Cousin Poem | |

Cousin John

War is such an awful thing, insanity can sometimes bring, like my cousin the zippo man, who burnt the huts the squealing and, came home and shot himself... poor John was damned...by Vietnam. sad and true and tears the heart, war is deadly, the aching part, they go away, do not return, just leave living heartache burns, no delight...Don Johnson

Details | Cousin Poem | |

Cougar effect

Cougar trouble

In 98 I was free again,
Thanks to wife stealing cousin Wayne.
At work the boss was an older chick,
Who moved on me, so very quick.

Though I had found other ladies great,
And was a dating several called mate,
Two ladies were there at work,
One married chick, who called me jerk.
It was hard to concentrate.

The Cougar kept me back one night,
Seduced me once, and it was nice.
Until I spoke of other girls,
Venom surfaced, plates were hurled,
What would be your advice.

Woman scorned, she did her best,
To move me on, till I had left,
No longer even Cougar blest.
Moved on to new horizons.

A History Of One Day Poetry Contest




Don Johnson


Details | Cousin Poem | |

Snowfall

The dust of the Gods falls 
With a certain sense of grace.

Unlike cousin Rain,
She does not fall 
In lament,
Each splash of sorrow bringing life to barren ground.

Unlike cousin Hail,
She does not fall
In anger,
Each explosion of hatred colliding with that which binds.

No,
The white powder has pride,
She falls
For freedom,
Resisting gravity but not striking back at the foe,
Floating in silent peace, 
Whilst dancing in extravagant jubilation,
She gently lands among her waiting sisters.

Details | Cousin Poem | |

R.I.P. Drew

R.I.P to the big cuz drew… Never did I think I would ever loose you…. Not this early in life…. I would do anything 
to have you in my sight…. Them guys that did that stuff just aint right…. I mean they had me up crying…. They 
had to be lying…. Its too soon for you to be up in the sky flying… I look to clouds up above… Wishing I can give 
you one more hug… Push and shove… Never let you go… Cause I love you cousin just had to let you no….

Details | Cousin Poem | |

EASTER IVY

It's used as an afterthought, fattening festive 
arrangements for Mother's Day, Easter, 
someone's birthday.  An underrated vine,
enhancing center-stage flowers whose star-power 
doesn't wear well. It's the "coming attraction" 
that's there after the clapping dies down, 
replanted by doorstep or gravestone.  "Grow," 
I say, "Change my life with your traveling beauty, 
your common denominator, your scrawling 
signature seldom sought for autographs.

Snaking around graves at our family plot, 
it's an ongoing gift, out-giving the giver 
with its "overwhelming darkness", reminding us 
where there is life, there is also death. Surviving, 
thriving in hanging pots the less hardy exit,
it surprises and delights, reaching down from limbs
of trees for soil, unchallenged there in pine straw 
until tender tendrils insinuate their way 
to daylight through tapestries of needles

When the ivy becomes dense, I will know 
you are there: ivy of my heart, ivy of essence, 
the graceful way it swings and sways, how 
it takes to new habitat in the way you, Julie, 
cut a swath through New York City after lifetimes 
in the easy South.  We are old souls, older 
than the hedera, cousin to ginseng, reminder 
of the movement of the heavens, the ability 
to bring things together.  You were shelter, 
the poets' headpiece, bringing peace 
to my household.  Resurrection and rebirth, 
Julie, in this Easter of ivy.




Details | Cousin Poem | |

Death Of The Saints

A cousin called the other day saying "Another cousin has passed away".

Well my husband said "How old was she.""

"Ninety-eight".

A stalwart woman who had served family and community well. Producing one child that 
became a missionary serving in a foreign land..

While talking the cousin asked "Did you know ______"?

My husband answered, "Well, I don't think that I knew them".

The cousin proceeded to tale this story.

"The man had been down with cancer for a while and passed recently..The funeral had been 
conducted and the hearse had gone on to the cemetary..The family car with the family was 
not to far behind..But when it pulled up, the wife of the deceased did not get out and the 
funeral home staff was gathering around..The funeral home director decided to go see what 
was going on ...."

The cousin said, " That this funeral home director told him". "That he had been in this 
business for thirty-five years and faced something that he had never had happen to him or 
any other funeral home director that he knew."

The funeral home director said, "When I got to the family car, I found the wife of the 
deceased had passed from a massive corornary."

She had said, "I don't know how I will live without him." She didn't have to learn. God called 
her home..

The roosters crow, the crows craw and are answered by the gobble of the turkey across the 
way..


Details | Cousin Poem | |

The house eaters

1.
My grapefruit tanned
toothpicks
bow above
the five-day flattened
spot
in an olive shag carpet
tracing grandpa Leo's 
blueprint,
with one encapsulated
toe –
this is the femur, this is
the head,
this is the fist, the ring
finger, the soul.
I search for any blunt
white quivering slivers
of Caroline's purported
fly fetuses.

2.
Huddling behind the
corpse
of an old hospital bed,
a framed photo 
smoke browned and
wearing my toddler face,
watches
his children choke
hushed, broken
sentences

this will be yours, my
plate, separate the
holiday china…

an enigmatic language
that hovers in
smoke stretched rings
to wilt
upon the hallway
bulb.

3.
I am left
the ceramic cygnet,
and an ivory carved 
dromedary.

These artifacts
plucked
from his porcelain
menagerie
that I decipher 
through dust fingerprints
for
one small inheritance of
a memory.

4.
Tomorrow,
Aunt Rose
puts price
to his bibelots,
the olive shag carpet,
even cousin Amy's 
plastic horse,
who was accidentally
left to pasture on an 
afghan.

A silver plated glass cage
image of her past,

she says she will whittle
all of him,
from the
wooden
house 
bones.



Details | Cousin Poem | |

City Cousin

My city cousin called them fireflies
To me it was a lightnin' bug
Her father drank imported beer
My pa drank corn likker from a jug

Her mother had fine linens
Spread on the table with care
My ma was lucky to have food
To put on a table clean, but bare

She never wore hand-me -downs
Her dresses were always new
She had lots of toys and dolls
I always had so few

My city cousin had her own room
With furniture by Simon Lister
I had feed sack curtains
And shared a bed with my sister

We grew up in different worlds
And seldom saw each other
Because her father was ashamed
To call my pa his brother



Details | Cousin Poem | |

Bell's Blues

Staring, vapor locked, at my Hammond B-3 console organ, which dominates my 
kitchen.  Surely a symbol of my madness.  I can't help, but think, if the keys were 
the days of my life, and the black ones represented the bad days, are there 
enough black keys??  Fighting petulance, self-pity...losing...
     Wondering if I can stand another minute alone.  Atop my organ, music books, 
and the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe, another mad poet.
     Plagued by physical agonies that merely complete a perfect circle of anguish 
and distress.  Even to worrying of misspelling a word again.  Pure lunacy.
     Remembrance of my 1863 death at Missionary Ridge, something I became 
aware of as a young child before I'd ever heard of reincarnation.  Or just an early 
sign of the madness to come??
     I am lost in a befouling miasma of deep despair.  My life's hopes down to 2 
desires;  one last music band, and taking my son to Disneyworld.  Money is 
meaningless to me.
     I am well aware that death is as natural as life.  And I would venture to guess 
that the loss of my father, my young cousin Billy, my dear friend Mark Trotiner, and 
too many others, are "Business As Usual" in this universe.  But not for me.
     Being terminally ill myself is something I have long since come to terms with.  
And what a reunion it will be!!  But I must continue to go on surviving as though I 
cherish this long and barren life.
     My writing, especially my poetry, my poet friends, my music, my musician 
friends, and a few relatives and others; these are the meds that work for me; not 
the 30 or so pills I must deal with everyday.  So thank you all.
And now an addendum, one which brightened my day:
     Mark Trotiner long maintained that he gave Mark Knoffler (Dire Straights) the 
idea for his hit song "Money For Nothing", when Mark Knoffler came into the 
appliance chain store he worked in way back then, where he bought, and drove 
off with several T.V.s, singing the prototype words he'd gotten from Mark Trotiner.  
Over the years, I tested him repeatedly, looking for the tale-tell deviation in the 
story one finds in a false tale.  He never faltered, he never failed.
    Continued.....

Details | Cousin Poem | |

Comb Over

Z Z Top and Cousin It took the right approach
     Dark sun glasses and beards detract from scraggly hair
Next time my motley hairdo meets with reproach
     Combing forward I’ll consider, sparing the Nair



*For Rick's "Bad Hair Day" contest

Details | Cousin Poem | |

Beyond The Gates

Behind these gates lay quite the scene
So very surreal, yet not a dream

Beautiful headstones, manicured lawns
My God the memories this place spawns 

The winding road, first turn to the right
Back to the beginning of my plight

Stopping next to the second trail
My heart and head pound like hell

On the left eleven headstones away
Like a movie my memory starts to play

People gathered from all around
My mother knew everyone in town

At the time I was still unable to speak
My shattered psyche was far too weak

I stood there broken and full of fear
Ashamed I could shed not a single tear

Ashamed I could speak not a single word
Inside my head so many voices heard

What did those voices have too say
That’s another story for another day

Those gates now hold so many I love
Everyone I once held above

Last time I entered them I was 32
Even though those gates hold all of you

Next month I’ll go back and explain why
Tell my mother the reason I couldn’t cry

Apologize to her for being broken
Leave flowers, a poem, and my N.A. token

That way she will know without any doubt
What her little boy ended up being all about

That her little boy is not broken anymore
Overcoming adversity is what adversity is for

And one day when I’ve completed my fate
I’ll be looking for her, “Beyond the Gate”


The Shafter, California cemetery holds my mother, Grandparents, my cousin James and many
close friends. The last time I visited them was approx. 18 years ago. It’s very strange
that I received, “Beyond the Gates” as my topic, because; I’ve been planning this trip for
months now. If not for that fact I would have most likely written this poem about prison
gates. I reckon all things happen for a reason. Thank you Constance writing this poem has
given me strength to help me do what I plan to do. Go make amends to the person who gave
me life and taught me the things, which stuck with me through it all. My Grandparents
never lost hope in me and always said, "One day Mikey will remember the things we taught
him and return to the Lord." I think they will be proud of the man who comes to visit them
next month.





Details | Cousin Poem | |

My Cousin

My cousin She is very special Very nice I had never had such a great cousin before Oh this cousin I know is special to me I love you Brandy

Details | Cousin Poem | |

My crazy cousin

My crazy Cousin.

My cousin calls me crazy poet
Cause I don’t think like others
I’ve not seen her since she was three
A Flower girl to us lovers
When we got wed in sixty five
But now we write and all
Oh lord, we two are so alike
It’s just remarkable.

In eight weeks time, she’s coming here
To good old western Oz
I know we’re going to get on well
I do, and that’s because
That girl is crazy just like me
And she likes a good old laugh
She seems to be a grand old bird
I’ll say on her behalf.

She’ll bring her man, and son with her
They’re all creative folk
She can paint and write as well
And boy, it is no joke
The kind of talent that they have
It will be a joy to me
To meet up with forgotten kin
I can’t wait for this to be.

11 August 2013 @ 1813hrs.

Details | Cousin Poem | |

Family Grief Family Happiness

  
   Have you ever written anything without sub combing to tears ?
        
    My Family portrait in my mind , 2 older sisters , 2 brothers
        My Mother caring about all five in different ways
      Just with Mom & Dad there having the best of Holidays 
     My sisters laying out on the deck of river bank for 4th of July ~
          
      Listening to " Honkey Chateau " and all by Elton John. 
       music  a great memory ~Disco , Donna summer , Grease ~ Jaws !

     Dad's records to Tony Bennett , Hank W Sr. , Count Basie & Louis Armstrong.
          The music  takes me home in a wagon filled with children and a dog "Lucky "    
      My Older brother , athletic , always fishing & hunting.
                 My younger , my Rock , Swimming and netting for fish,
        feeding our Fat cat Perch off the rocks patiently awaits her food               
         
       the yelling , slamming of doors ,  tempers Flare , passion 
         Our Parents , passionate love yet passionate Hate .
        
        After being a Family of Seven , Divorcing their fate ..
         Why did that show " Dallas " bring out the Divorce in all ?

       Scottish ~ Irish ~ French Iroquois ~ Cherokee  
                 No matter what the mix ..Our curse Alcohol ~
          the  Screaming , Drinking , this memory I wish to shut the door on .  
        Going to A & W or making Cheerleading ,The Bears of course~
             Excited in Chicago !  seeing Elton John in the Summer of 1976 ~
        Cubs ,  museum of Wax , Museum of science & History , Pizza !
        
       Expeditions of discovery ,little brother & I finding arrowheads on the Shore.
             Our Grandparents Faithful Celebrations ! Chiffon cake , Apple strudel `  
        Our Cousins on Holidays , going for ice cream cones , 
          scent of wet rain on oak leaves ~Before Halloween was bought in stores.
        
           ~ That is the Family I Love ,
                     that is the Family I choose to miss ~    
                       
              


Details | Cousin Poem | |

Electricity Car-show me the funny part two

I bought a used electric car, and not coz I’ve gone green
For there were better reasons for obtaining that machine.

I figured weekday mornings I could save some precious time
Transforming my used car into the voltage making line.

The first thing that I added was a GFI outlet
That was capably installed by my second cousin Brett.

I then hooked up my toothbrush and put in what I loved most
A shiny, stainless, four slice, brand new toaster for my toast.

I couldn’t charge my razor since there wasn’t any space
So I plugged in an adaptor that should cover every base.

No sooner did the mini fridge take up the whole back seat
The juice and bread and butter filled its 1.5 square feet.

Last of all I mounted a new flat screen on the dash
And don’t you know that luxury depleted all my cash.

A light went on inside my head conveying some green scams
Like selling drinks and other things while stuck in traffic jams.

Or maybe my good neighbors would be inclined to pay
For running cords to their machines while parked in the driveway.

One day I found that my car had a convertible top
When too much steam from the popcorn machine made the top pop.

And that mishap was followed by a nippy, drenching rain
Shorting my ‘lectronics; going green can be a pain.

After that the batteries did not hold a single charge
Forcing me to lug the heap to an auto salvage yard.

Someone asked why I didn’t start with a Winnebago
Coz I had fun driving something green as a tomato.


Details | Cousin Poem | |

Merry Queen of Squash

Pumpkin, merry queen of squash,
regnant on accord.
With a smooth and ribb-ed rind
clad in pepo-orange,
two strikes to sever
from the vine.
Gourd!





*Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded by order of her cousin Queen Elizabeth of England in
1587.  Detailed accounts record it took two strikes of the axe to sever her head completely.  

**A pumpkin is truly the sovereign of gourd squashes. .  Ironically, the word 'gourd' is also a slang
term for 'head' giving this poem a most appropriate ending whichever way you look at it!.

***The word ribb-ed in the third line is read as two syllables.

Details | Cousin Poem | |

The Meaning of Bread and Tortillas

"Mi primo" means my cousin in Spanish.
He calls me his "primita"- little cousin.
This is the story of how mi primo
Taught me about the meaning of bread;
Of the meaning of tortillas...
He and I are exchanging languages 
Over Dairy Queen chicken strips;
I repeat the words he teaches me
Back to him in my all-american 
White girl accent,
Trying to learn how to Salsa 
With a tongue that only knows
How to stumble over the trills
And rapid-fire hot-sauce syllables-
He makes me say them again and
Again until I sound like a distorted 
Calle 13 track on repeat...
Mi primo offers me the bread
That came with his meal;
I ask him why he doesn't want it.
He says he doesn't eat bread;
He is Hispanic; he eats tortillas-
Do I know tortillas?-
He gestures, indicates the 
Flat, full moon-shaped
Circle of a torilla with his hands.
Si, I know tortillas.
What I want to know is-
What the heck do tortillas have to do
With whether you eat bread or not?
So mi primo tells me una historia
About a guy he knows,
20-something and something else...
All his family came from Guatemala;
He was brought up going to a church 
With a pastor that preached sermons
That trilled like heavenly trumpets;
He has skin that was colored warm 
As if he had grown up kissed by 
The sun of his family's homeland;
He knew how to speak English but
His mother tongue was always Spanish-
His cousins were his best friends
Because being "un Guate" means
Knowing the meaning of "la familia"...
He learned at age 21
That he was born in America.
Eagerly, he shed his Hispanicness like
A snake skin that had grown too tight,
Clutching at the revelation of his birthplace
Like a get-out-of-jail free card,
Hides the color of his face behind
The red, white, and blue of his
Irrevocable Americanness... 
He doesn't go to church anymore,
Because American guys don't 
Have time for God;
He buys big, fancy cars he doesn't have 
A prayer of paying off because
American girls are supposed to like
That kind of thing;
He tries not to remember 
The meaning of la familia...
And he always eats bread-
His tongue has suddenly turned
Too American to abide the taste,
The flatness, of las tortillas...
He is the reason that mi primo cannot 
Abide the taste of bread, too thick
With the flavor of betrayed heritage
To sit easy in his stomach...
Mi primo offers me,
His little blonde all-American cousin,
The bread he doesn't want.
I wonder if one day he'll
Mean the word "primita" enough
To offer me a tortilla.