2 Poems by Candelaria Silva-Collins

Read Interview with Candelaria Silva-Collins HERE

My Saige – My First 
Copyright 2020 by Candelaria Norma Silva 

I see you first; I see you emerge and begin.
I see you running to me as a toddler
Your broad smile and unbridled enthusiasm
I see you laying your head on my shoulder on the Ashmont train
The gentleman across the way joyfully proclaimed: Aren’t grands the best?

I see you climbing on every ledge as we walk up the hill
Jumping from ledge to steps 
And around bushes that occasionally interrupt.
The drudgery of the hill vanishes because of your energy
I walk faster, too.

I see how beautifully colors look on the warm brown canvass of your skin
Everything has to match:  socks, shoes, ribbons
Each summer your legs get longer,
Your questions bolder, your curiosity stronger
Why this, why not that, can we, Grandi, can we?

Every summer your hair changes
Now a wardrobe of beads or bows, now crazy curls when you cut your locs, 
One day straightened, you almost break your neck as you flip it all around.
Then back natural and dyed bright red at the top 
(I can’t believe your mother let you do that!)

Saige you’ve aged to two digits, you’ll never be a single digit again
You are quieter now
You hold my hand but you don’t run toward me, you stride pass the ledges
You don’t bring your dolls when you visit
You don’t smile because of your braces.

And now you’re a teen
Crossing the bridge from girl to woman
Your body becomes seen
What will teen mean for you?
Can I keep you hidden though you are in plain sight?

I want you to know how much I cherish you,
How terrific you are; how talented
I carry you with me.
I want you to never undervalue yourself,
To know that even in these times when we don’t know what might happen next…

You can be sure of my love, my commitment, my protection and prayer, my acceptance even when I push you to do more 
My house is forever your home.
 It is your sanctuary, your refuge, your vacation, your break.
You are loved, cherished, treasured, adored, admired, cheered, supported, elevated, and increased 

My first and forever Saige.

If Only It Had Rained
by Candelaria N. Silva

It doesn’t really matter that you were
young, lively, kind.
A mischievous smile
and quick to laugh.

It doesn’t matter that you pulled pranks
and stayed behind to help clean-up, 
that you had plans, that you were
primed for the future.

It doesn’t matter that you were loved
that you had the family and the village
that you were vital, vigorous, male.

It doesn’t much matter that you studied,
did your chores, let your parents know
where you were, that in fact you 
often stuck close to home.

Perhaps if you had gone to that other cookout
or had been the type to lay in the house
or with a girlfriend all day
perhaps then you would still be here – but
it is not right to say such things for
they seem to blame you
and you were not to blame.
You did not aim, point, shoot into a crowd
at a summer backyard barbecue.

Still, we need someone to blame, 
something to satisfy our need to know 
Why you, why now, why ever?

I blame the sun for shining, the summer for coming.
I indict poverty, violence, 
the way things just are.

You were killed on a sunny Sunday,
One Sunday later, it rained and rained,
so I blame the vagaries of the weather
‘cause if had rained on that particular June Sunday
you would still be alive.