Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Mysterious Spanish Blanket


Among my earliest memories
is the sound of your voice
and even though I didn’t know
what you were saying
I understood.

It was the tone
of your voice:
whiskey brown
soft and aged,
every bit of its character
hard-earned.

Lost in your warm
all-consuming
fleshy embrace,
love spoke volumes.

You raised my father
and everyone else
on sopas abondigas and care,
simple banquets
where the cuisine wasn't elegant
but it was regal
and opulent with laughter and comfort.

Though I was top student
in my high school Spanish class
I still spoke as a
halting, awkward immigrant
when visiting your home
in East Los Angeles
but I always understood.

In the years of my absence
I held on to your gift:
love interwoven in that
mysterious Spanish blanket
you wrapped around me.

You had stories to tell me
but in the ten years
since your repatriation to Heaven
the silence is more poignant.

Grandma Trini,
I rarely understood
your words
but your voice
transcended
translation.