Five Days After My Grandmother’s Passing
Lucia, my daughter calls the fine china
doll, held against her chest.
My abuela’s name is a roar from her ashes
filming the top of the Rio Nigua in Puerto Rico. The call
wakes me suddenly, like the crack
of coconut shell upon pavement.
How did my grandmother’s name find
its way to my girl? Could it have leapt through
the child’s canary-painted walls,
written itself upon her sleeping cupid’s bow?
Script instructing how to engrave a headstone
or sing a hymn, pass weeping ink
down from daughter to daughter
or up from mother to mother.
The name reminds me of silence once served on my tongue;
until, Lucia turns into a shriek of contrition, a moan—
soft cradle to glue back the brown of my own porcelain.
© Ysabel Y. Gonzalez. Published by permission in Centro Voices on 10 April 2015.